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RUSSIA No. 1 (1921). 

MAY 31 1921 





Presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. 




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Political Section. 


Introduction .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 3 

Attitude of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and of the Communist 

International to International labour .. .. .. 4 

A sketch of the Bolshevik movement in Russia .. .. .. .. 5 

The structure of the Soviet Government. . .. .. .. ..19 

Elections and political liberty in Soviet Russia . . . . . . 32 

The Extraordinary Commission . . . . . . . . 38 

The Controlling- Board . . . . . . . . . . 48 

The Eighth A U-llussian Congress of Soviets .. .. .. .. 51 

The Trade Unions . . . . . . . . . . . . ..01 

The peasants .. .. .. .. .. ..71 

The attitude of the Soviet Government towards other countries . . . . 77 

Education, Religion, law, &c. .. .. .. .. .. 79 

Economic Section. 

A sketch of the economic situation in Russia, 1914-1919 .. .. .. 81 

The nationalisation of industry, to which is attached a statement on finance 

and on non-nationalised industry . . . . . . . . 85 

The number of workers in the factories . . . . . . . . 91 

Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 

The relative value of the workers' wage . . . . . . 96 

The Soviet Food Administration . . . . 97 

Fuel . . . . . . . . . . 99 

Other necessaries of life . . . . . . . . . . 99 

The productivity of the individual worker . . . . . . . . 100 

Mortality amoug the workers . . . . , . . 102 

The voice of the worker . . . . . . . . 102 

The harvest of 1920 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..103 

How the Soviet Government proposes to meet the situation . . . . 105 

Summary of results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 

Appendicks (prepared by the Committee). 

1, Loal .. . . .. .. a( . . . . ..lib 

II. Wood fuel .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..119 

III. Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 

IV. Railway transport . . . . ... 123 

V. Water transport .. .. .. .. .. .. 123 

Additional Appendices. 

VI. Translations of Chapters IV and V of Vol. I of "Materials on the History of 
the Social and Revolutionary Movement in Russia." The efforts of Lenin 
to dominate the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, 1911-1912 . . 129 
VII. Programme of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party . . . . 139 

VIII. Extract from Trotsky's book, "Terrorism and Communism," published June 

1920 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..142 

IX. Translation from the " Vserossiisky Pechatnik" (the "All-Russian Printer"), 
March 1920, being an extract from an article entitled "The Problems 
of the Trade Union Movement," by Tukhanov, the Secretary of the 
Central Committee of the All-Russian Union of Workers in the Poly- 
graphical Trade .. .. .. .. .. .. 158 

X. Extracts from an Official Report of the Food Organisations in Russia, by 
A. G. Mashkovich, Director of the Section of the Controlling Board, known 
as the Workers' and Peasants' Control, charged with exercising re- 
visionary powers in connection with the Food Organisations of the 
Republic . . . . . . . . . . . 159 

XL Translation of an article entitled " The Rationing of the Workers in the 
Donetz Basin," signed Yakubov, and published in the " Izviestiya Raboche- 
Krestyanskoi Inspektsii," or " Bulletin of the Workers' and Peasants' 
Control," described in this report as " The Controlling Board," dated April 
1920 .. . . .. .. .. .. ..166 

XII. Estimate of the cost of the preparation of this report .. .. .. 167 

Note. — 1 Aizhen=2f feet. 

1 Pood = 36 lbs (about). 

1 Sazhen of wood = 12*7 cubic yards (about). 

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Report (Political and Economic) of the Committee to Collect 

Information on Russia. 


A COMMITTEE to Collect Information on Russia was appointed on the 
17th May, 1920, and was constituted as follows : — 

The Rt. Hon. the Lord Emmott, G.C.M.G., G.B.E. {Chairman). 

Sir Ellis Hume- Williams, K.B.E., K.C., M.P. ] 

Sir Wm. Ryland Dent Adkins, K.C., M.P. > Members. 

The Rt. Hon. Wm. Brace,*M.P. J 

Mr. H. E. Garle, Barrister-at-Law (Secretary). 

Mr L G M. Gall, formerly of the Anglo-Russian Commission, attached 
to His Britannic Majesty's Embassy, Petrograd, was appointed to assist the 

Committee. ... ,, 

On the 23rd July, 1920, the Rt. Hon. Wm. Brace, M.P., resigned owing to the 

pressure of other public duties, and Major W^atts Morgan, C.B.E.. D.b.O., M.-t\, 

was appointed on the 10th August in his place. 

On the 24th December, 1920*, Mr. H. E. Garle resigned his duties as {secretary 

of the Committee owing to ill-health, and Mr. L. G. M. Gall was appointed Secretary 

in his stead. 

The terms of reference to the Committee were — 

" To enquire into conditions under which British subjects were recently 
imprisoned or detained in Russia and generally to obtain information in regard 
to the economic and political situation in that country." 

On the 4th November, 1920, the Committee submitted an Interim Report* to your 
Lordship upon the conditions under which British subjects were recently imprisoned 
or detained in Russia. 

We now have the honour to present to your Lordship a Report upon Political 
and Economic Conditions in Russia in accordance with the terms of reference given 

The various phases of the revolution in Russia have been accompanied by many 
and far-reaching changes and transformations are taking place at the present time 
which are likely, in our judgment, to be no less important than those which have 
gone before. The influence of these changes is clearly marked upon the course of 
present events, and although it cannot be said how far they will be transient or 
lasting, it is clear that they must have an important bearing upon the future 
development of society, both in Russia and other countries. 

We doubt whether the supreme importance of a close study of events in Russia, 
and of their causes and of their effects upon politics, society, and economic thought, 
in Europe and throughout the world, is adequately realised. We venture to suggest 
that such a study would be of the highest value to mankind. 

The Right Hon. the Earl Curzon of Kedleston, K.G., &c, 
Secretary of State: for Foreign Affairs. 

* "Miscellaneous: No. 13" (ll>20) [i'md. 1041.] 
108 1500 5/21 F.O.P. [5631] 


(Political Section.) 

Attitude of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and of the 
Communist International to International Labour. 

1. The Soviet Government was established in Russia by the Bolshevik, or 
Communist Party, on the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October, 1917. 
It has, therefore, remained in power for three years. 

2. The Russian Communist Party has developed plans for the international 
application of Communist principles. In Russia there is established what purports 
to be a Communist form of Government, by means of a so-called dictatorship of the 
proletariat based on the ruins of the old capitalist society which they have destroyed. 

3. The interest which this Communist experiment presents extends far outside 
Russia and is enhanced by the fact that the Bolsheviks base the expediency of their 
international policy on the prevailing unrest. This appears from the theses of the 
Communist International,* an institution founded at Moscow, in February 1919, 
for the purpose of organising and uniting the activities of Communists in all 
countries. These theses prescribed the attitude to be adopted by Communists with 
regard to international labour. They were published in No. 12 of the " Communist 
International," the official organ of the Communist or Third International in 
anticipation of the Second World Congress of the International, held in Moscow 
during the summer of 1920, and show the premises upon which this international 
attitude is based. The following extracts are translated from the theses : — 

(1.) The economic results of the war, the complete disorganisation of peace time economy, 
the wild rise in prices .... all drive the broad masses of the proletariat along the path of 
struggle against capitalism. 

(2.) Economic disorganisation, seizing one country after another, extends more and more. 
It shows even the tired workers that it is insufficient to fight merely for higher wages and 
shorter hours, and that the capitalist class is daily becoming less able to re-establish the State 
economy and to guarantee the workers even those conditions of life which they enjoyed before 
the war." 

The same theses state that — 

(3.) This struggle (the economic struggle) by the proportions and character which it is 
assuming more and more day by day, reveals itself as a revolutionary struggle, having as its 
object to destroy the capitalist order. 

(4.) It is the task of the Communist Party to organise all workers, on a basis of the existing 
economic chaos and to lead them in the fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat, by means 
of broadening and deepening the struggle, intelligible to them all, for the workers' control of 

The methods to be pursued are — 

(5.) To instil into the consciousness of the broadest masses of the people .... the 
conviction that the bourgeoisie are to blame for economic chaos, whereas the proletariat, in 
advancing the slogan of the workers' control over production is striving to organise industry, to 
abolish speculation, disorganisation and dearth. 

(6.) So to deepen the consciousness of the masses that they become convinced that 
systematic economic restoration on a basis of capitalist society — which would mean their 
enslavement afresh — is now impossible." 

The reason for the methods recommended are stated thus — 

(7.) An economic organisation, corresponding to the interest of the working classes is 
only possible when the State is in the hands of the working masses, when the strong arm of the 
workers' dictatorship proceeds to abolish capitalism and to inaugurate a new socialist 

4. The extracts quoted show that the world-wide appeal to revolution contained 
in the theses is founded on the view that the industrial unrest left by the war affords 
a favourable opportunity for inducing the "broadest masses of the people" to 

* The theses of the Communist International appear to be principally intended to instruct 
Communists in Russia and other countries regarding the aims, methods, and problems of the 
Intcinational Communist movement. 


believe in the first place that economic chaos, due to the capitalistic regime, exists 
throughout the world, and, in the second, that the " dictatorship of the proletariat ' 
will lead to a better organisation of industry, and to the abolition of speculation, 
scarcity, and want. 

5. This Report, the result of an examination into political and economic 
conditions in Russia, will show how far the experiment in Russia lends support to 
the latter claim. That country is providing the possibility of effective judgment on 
the results that may be expected to follow attempts to reconstruct society on 
Communist principles introduced by revolution and maintained by force. It is most 
important that the course of the Bolshevik movement — its past, which has conditioned 
its present, its purposes and methods, the results it has achieved and the circum- 
stances in which they have been accomplished — should be closely studied, for it is 
claimed to be the pioneer of an international Communist revolution and to have 
pointed the way to a new and better economic order. 

A Sketch of the Bolshevik Movement in Russia. 

The Pre-Eevolutionary Period. The Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party (Mensheviki and 
Bolsheviki). The revolution of December 1917 and the rise and fall of the Provisional 

Influence of (a) the French Revolution. 

6. At the beginning of the twentieth century Russia was, politically and 
economically, the most backward country in Europe. 

7. The democratic ideas arising out of the French revolution had exercised a 
profound influence upon the political history of other countries, and did much 
indirectly to inspire the economic changes which are associated with the growth 
of modern industry. They were, however, political rather than social and economic 
in their main effect upon the history of the nineteenth century. The idea of liberty 
came to be understood as signifying political freedom, and that of equality as 
meaning equality before the law rather than as directed towards a social and 
economic levelling of mankind. 

Influence of (b) the Industrial Revolution. 

8. The " Industrial Revolution," on the other hand, gave birth to a form of 
political thought which interpreted liberty and equality in terms of social and 
economic levelling rather than in the more restricted sense in which these words were 
understood earlier, and this form of political thought, in its extreme formulation, 
aimed at establishing the dictatorship of the industrial and agricultural proletariat 
over all other classes in the State. The exponents of these views believed that only 
thus would it be possible to give the working masses an equality of opportunity and 
of participation in the fruits of the productive energies of the State, which they 
believed could not evolve under a capitalist structure of society. 

The Russian Autocracy and Progressive Western Thought. 

9. These two streams of thought did little to modify the policy of the autocratic 
government of Russia. They exerted, however, a marked influence upon the 
Russian " intellectuals."* 

The Russian " Intellectuals." 

10. The Russian tl Intellectuals ' form only 5 per cent, of the population of 
Russia. A large part of this minority, of varying shades of liberal opinion, were 
prepared to accept a constitutional Government under a monarchy. A lesser section, 
deriving their views from Proudhon, Lassalle, Fourrier, Engels and Marx, aimed at 
the overthrow of the monarchy and the realisation of a Socialist republic on lines 
more or less moderate or radical, according to their views. 

* The word " intellectuals " is used in this Report instead of, and in preference to, the word 

' intelligentsia " which is frequently met with in the history of modern Eussia. It is a term not 

easy of definition. The Russian " intelligentsia " may be said to have been those whose opportunities 

of education opened to them the possibility of finding an interest in political, economic, social and 

philosophic questions. 


The Policy of the Autocracy. 

11. Except for short intervals during which a liberal atmosphere prevailed 
at the Court the policy of the Russian autocracy was reactionary and obscurantist. 
As a result of this policy, the progressive intellectual forces of the nation were 
divorced from all practical participation in the government of the State, and most 
of the avenues of public service were closed to them. The lives of the Intellectuals 
wore passed for the most part in speculative studies, and the restraints imposed 
upon them tended to divert their energies into abnormal channels and led them to 
engage in secret and subterranean activities as a means of self-expression. The 
repression exercised created a fertile soil for the growth of progressive opinions, 
and more especially for the extreme form of these opinions, and developed a political 
psychosis among educated Russians which gave birth to the revolutionary movement 
in Russia and powerfully contributed to predetermine the extreme course which 
the revolution ultimately took. Moreover, the autocracy failed to discriminate 
between those of its opponents who were in favour of a constitutional monarchy and 
those who advocated the abolition of the monarchy and the setting up of a republican 
form of government. This weakened the constitutional reformers and gave 
additional strength to the revolutionary republicans. 

Wars and Reform. 

12. It is to be remarked that the liberation of the Serfs in 1861, the establish- 
ment of the Duma in 1905 and the overthrow of the autocracy itself in 1917 
proceeded largely from the pressure of forces released in the course of the unsuccessful 
conduct of wars. The Crimean war, the Russo-Japanese war and the European war 
of 1914-1917 clearly revealed the inefficiency and corruption of the Government, and 
how inadequate it was to meet the increasing demands of modern military technique 
and organisation, which had come to depend more and more for their efficient 
functioning upon a stable political administration and a highly developed economic 
structure . 

Emancipation and Zemstva — the Road to Constitutional Government . 

13. The wave of Liberalism which passed over Russia in the years following the 
Crimean war swept even into the ranks of the official bureaucracy. The emancipa- 
tion of the Serfs was followed in 1864 by the law instituting zemstva or county 
councils, elected from all classes and charged with a restricted competence over 
matters relating to local government. It would be difficult to exaggerate the 
possibilities of gradual progress towards constitutional government which these 
reforms opened up. Unfortunately, however, the enthusiasm which prevailed was 
hysterical in its fervour. The hopes kindled among the Intellectuals often found 
extravagant expression in the Liberal papers of the day and in the ill-considered 
utterances of individuals. As a result, the autocracy became afraid to proceed with 
a policy which had been dictated on their part partly by conviction and partly by 

Influence of Reaction on the Revolutionary Movement. 

14. Reaction set in and was strengthened by certain terrorist outrages, 
perpetrated by disappointed enthusiasts, and culminating in the assassination of 
Alexander II in 1881. The continuance of a reactionary policy under Alexander III 
and throughout the earlier years of Nicholas II deepened, on the one hand, the 
feelings of disillusionment experienced by the Liberals of the Sixties, and, on the 
other hand, obscured the potentialities of the zemstva as nrogressive organs of local 
self-government, preparing the way for the realisation of a responsible 
parliamentary system. 

The Rise of Russian Industry. 

15. The textile industry had been already firmly established during the Forties 
and Fifties round Moscow and Petrograd. The rise of other Russian industries may 
be said to date from the Sixties. It was promoted by : — 

(1.) The emancipation of the Serfs, which placed on the market an almost 

unlimited supply of cheap labour. 
(2.) The extensive development of the railway system, which provided improved 

(3.) The foundation of new banks and other credit institutions. 

16. The mineral wealth of the Donetz basin in the South of Russia was now 
exploited for the first time on a large scale, and blast furnaces began to spring up. 
A modification of the law affecting the formation of joint stock companies led also 
to an enormous increase of commercial enterprises. 

Employers and Employed. 

17. The class of industrial workers rapidly increased in number. They lived 
for the most part in towns and crowded together in narrow areas, developing, as they 
grew, new needs and formulating new demands and powerfully contributing by their 
labour to the prosperity of the State. Side by side with the workers, there grew up a 
class of industrial magnates, controlling and directing their labour, and leaning for 
support from the early days of Eussian industry upon the privileged classes. A 
study of industrial conditions in Russia discloses a disregard on the part of 
employers for the dignity of human life and for the social dangers proceeding from 
the physical and psychological results of sweated labour often performed amid 
surroundings of a degrading and dehumanising rharacter. Similar abuses have 
prevailed in other countries, but it is necessary to emphasise that an enhanced danger 
attaches to them in a State where liberal minds are impelled more and more by the 
policy of the Government to give revolutionary expression to their aspirations. 

The Political Effects of Industrial Development in Russia. 

18. The writings of Socialists in Western Europe had long been known in 
Russia, but their influence had hitherto been confined to the ranks of the Intellectuals. 
With the growth of Russian industry a change began, and in the Seventies and 
Eighties of the last century the philosopher Mikhailovsky and Plekhanov began to 
make a special study of the industrial movement in Russia, to address their writings 
to the Russian workers and to speculate as to the future. Mikhailovsky thought it 
would be possible in Russia to profit by the experience gained from Western countries 
so as to avoid the capitalist stage of Society in Russia and pass on directly to the 
practical realisation of Socialism. Plekhanov was the first Russian writer to 
popularise Marxism in Russia. His early writings were devoted to exposing the 
fallacy of Mikhailovsky in thinking that it was possible to dispense with a capitalist 
stage in Russia, which he, Plekhanov, maintained had already begun. The specula- 
tive activity of the Seventies was followed by a period of industrial depression, and 
many factories were compelled to dismiss large numbers of their employees. Strikes 
broke out in Moscow, and the Government replied by the Factory Act of 1886, which 
made strikes illegal, while endeavouring to remove abuses which had grown up in the 
workshops during the early industrial period. A further industrial depression in 
the early Nineties and the frustrated hopes of a more liberal regime aroused by the 
accession of Nicholas II in 1894 increased the discontent among the workers These 
events created a common basis of activity between the Socialist Publicists of the 
Intellectuals and the workers. Plekhanov continued in his writings to make 
Marxian doctrines more widely known and was soon joined by Peter Struve and 
V. I. Ulianov (Lenin). The fruits of their work are seen in the foundation of the 
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1898. 

The R.S.D.L.P. 

19. In the five years between the foundation of the Russian Social Democratic 
Labour Party in 1896 and the Second Congress of the Party, held in London, 1903, 
four groups began to define themselves within it. They are, beginning with the 
Right Groups, and ending with the Left : — 

(1.) The Mensheviks, led by Martov* and supported by Dan and Abramovich, 

prominent members of the Jewish Bund Partv, which was divided in its 

support of the various factions of the R.S.D.L.P. 
(2.) The ' Plekhanovtsy, " or followers of Plekhanov, t who were regarded at 

that time as Left Mensheviks. 
(3.) The "Leninites," or Bolsheviks of the Right, led by Lenin, Kamenev, 

Zinoviev and Rykov. 

* Martov is still president of the Central Committee of the Menshevik Party. He left Russia 
recently and is now in Berlin. He advocates the political recognition of the Soviet Government 
- f Plekhanov died in 1918. 


(4.) The Bolsheviks of the Left, known as the " Vperedovtsy. " or " forwards," 
led by Bogdanov, Lunacharsky,* Pokrovsky, Alexinsky, Axelrod and 
Maxim Gorky. 

Mensheviks and Bolsheviks. 

20. The division in the party which gave birth to the "Mensheviks and 
Bolsheviks " took place at the London Congress of 1903, where these factions were 
respectively in the minority and majority, and took their name from the Russian 
translation of these words : " menshinstvo " and " bolshinstvo. " They differed both 
on points of doctrine and points of method : — 

A. Doctrine. — According to the Bolshevik interpretation of Marxist theory, 

society has broken up in the course of histcry into irreconcilably 
antagonistic classes — broadly speaking, the classes of those who have and 
those who have not. The State has emerged out of the shock of these 
opposing forces and from the necessity of restraining them. It has, there- 
fore, tended to become, in the words of Engels, "the State of the most 
powerful and predominant class which, by means of the State, also became 
the predominant class politically, thereby obtaining new means for the 
oppression and exploitation of the oppressed classes"; or, according to 
Marx, the State has become the organ of class domination, the organ of 
oppression of one class by another. The Bolsheviks attack the Mensheviks 
and Social Eevolutionaries, accusing them, in the words of Lenin, of trying 
to " correct " Marx in such a way as to make it appear that the State is an 
organ for the reconciliation of classes, and thus lending their support to 
parliamentary institutions. Proceeding from their conception of the State 
as "the product and the manifestation of the irreconcilability of class 
antagonism ' ' (Lenin) and as the organ of class domination, the Bolsheviks 
formulate the following programme to be carried through in three 
stages : — 

(1.) The overthrow of the capitalist State and the establishment of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat. 

(2.) The dictatorship of the proletariat leading to a gradual 'withering 
away" of the State. 

(3.) The realisation of the Communist ideal on the "withering away" of 
the State, i.e., the ordering of society on the principle of " from each 
according to his ability to each according to his need " and the inter- 
changeability of persons in the accomplishment of the various tasks 
necessary to the life and welfare of the society. 

The majority of the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries on the other hand 
showed themselves ultimately, on the overthrow of the autocracy, to be prepared to 
pursue the realisation of the Socialist State by evolutionary means. 

B. (1.) Method. — The Mensheviks desired to subordinate illegal to legal 

methods of opposition against the Government. The Bolsheviks on the 
other hand, while not entirely repudiating legal action, wished to create a 
widespread organisation of secret societies, to which they proposed to 
subordinate the legal bodies. 

(2.) The Mensheviks opposed a centralised system of party administra- 
tion as tending to suppress initiative in the local organisations of the 
party. The Bolsheviks on the other hand wished to invest the Central 
Committee of the party with semi-dictatorial powers in the interest of strict 
party discipline and to form a powerful revolutionary weapon. 

(3.) The two groups agreed that a revolution would promote the advan- 
tage of the bourgeois parties. They differed, however, in their attitude to 
the Provisional Government which would arise on the overthrow of the 
autocracy. The Mensheviks somewhat strangely held that the Social 
Democracy should not participate in the Provisional Revolutionary Govern- 
ment, but stand aside as an extreme Revolutionary opposition. The 
Bolsheviks, on the other hand, demanded that the party should participate 
in the Revolutionary Government, to defend the interests of the proletariat 
against the bourgeois parties, and at the same time discredit the parliamen- 
tary form of government. 

* Lunacharsky has been People's Commissary, or Minister for Education in the Soviet 
Government since the Soviet Government was formed in October 1917, with Pokrovsky as his 


Plekhanovtsy and Vperedovtsy. 

21. The "Plekhanovtsy" for some years co-operated with the "Leninites," 
more out of a desire to maintain the unity of the party than from any fundamental 
differences dividing them from the Mensheviks of the Right led by Martov. For 
similar reasons the "Leninites " estranged the " Vperedovtsy " from them, and were 
accused by them of departing from Bolshevik principle in the concessions they tried 
to make to the Mensheviks. The leaders of the "Vperedovtsy " were the directors of 
the propagandist school on the island of Capri and at Bologna. 

1905 Revolution. 

22. The R.S.D.L.P. played an important part in the revolutionary year of 
1905, and more especially in the great strike movement which began in the autumn 
of that year. As a result of these strikes, the first Soviet or Council of Workers was 
formed at Petrograd under the presidency of Khrustalev-Nosar, a prominent member 
of the Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Later, 
when Khrustalev was arrested, L. D. Trotsky was elected in his stead. The initial 
success which they obtained during the political and economic disturbances in 1905 
ended, however, in failure, partly because they were weakly organised, partly 
because the peasants failed to rise en masse as was hoped, and partly because the 
boycott of the elections to the Duma by the Bolshevik section of the party lost them 
sympathy. The boycott of the Duma by the Bolsheviks unquestionably hastened 
reaction and strengthened the conservative forces in the Government. 

Activities of the Bolsheviks . 

23. From 1897 to 1917 the members of the industrial proletariat in Russia rose 
from 3 to 5 millions, forming in the latter year about one-thirty-fifth of the popula- 
tion of Russia. It was to this class, the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, 
that the Bolsheviks principally addressed themselves. Their activities were, 
however, considerably hampered by the prominence which they gave to conspiracy. 
Their leaders were known to the police, their movements closely shadowed, and their 
work interrupted by arrests, sometimes of a wholesale character. From time to time 
whole series of their organisations were suppressed, notably in 1907-8, when they 
were almost completely destroyed throughout Russia. The blow dealt to the party 
during these two years was so serious that Lenin temporarily abandoned any idea of 
restoring the secret organisations and advocated the diversion of the party's 
energies to training at the party schools abroad those who were to become active 
propagandists in Russia. It seems clear, therefore, that, with the exception of the 
isolated activities of men like Victor Pavlovich Nogin in the Moscow district, the 
Bolsheviks were cut off entirely from the workers for some years. 

24. The strain due to constant police surveillance, the knowledge that members 
of the party were sometimes themselves agents of the secret police both in Russia and 
abroad, and the necessity of conducting their activities illegally did much to explain 
the atmosphere of secrecy and suspicion which prevailed in the party. According to 
the statement of one who was a member of it in former days, "klichkas, " or aliases, 
were widely used in the party so that one member would not know the real name of 
other members with whom he associated, or in any case only those of a few, and 
would therefore find it more difficult to betray members of the party wholesale to the 
secret police if he happened to be a spy. An elaborate secret organisation existed for 
arranging the passage of members and of correspondence and literature of the party 
from Russia to Europe. For example, there was a country house situated among the 
lonely marshes and forests not far from Suwalki whither members who were trying 
to leave Russia would repair, receive the necessary false passports and await a 
propitious moment for passing across the frontier. On the other side of the frontier 
they would usually be met by one of the staff of the Berlin Bureau who would direct 
them as to their farther journey. In Berlin itself there was, about 1907, a house 
where members of the party travelling through Berlin were received. In order that 
the suspicions of the police should not be aroused the establishment was also actuallv 
maintained as a house of ill-fame so that those passing to and fro at unusual hours 
did not attract attention. Litvinov was in charge of the Berlin Bureau at that time. 

[5631] c 


Party divided between Europe and Russia. 

25. The party headquarters had grown up abroad, and it was in Paris, London, 
Stockholm and Prague that the principal conferences and congresses were held. It 
was, therefore, arranged that half the Central Committee of the party should live in 
Russia and the other half reside abroad. The difficulties of co-ordinating the work 
of the party were thereby increased. The severity of the censorship made it 
impossible to utilise the postal services, and it was therefore necessary to devise secret 
means of communication between those in Russia and those abroad. Conferences 
and congresses could only meet with great difficulty owing to the cost of transporting 
representatives abroad and the necessity of obtaining false passports in the majority 
of cases to enable them to cross the frontier. Many of those who were summoned 
were often prevented from leaving Russia by arrest, and the elections of delegates by 
the workers to conferences abroad were often conducted under conditions which 
impaired or destroyed the claim of those elected to represent the industrial workers 
of the districts for which they stood. 

2(). It is beyond the scope of this Report to do more than give this brief 
description of how the Bolsheviks sprang into being and of the circumstances under 
which their political activities were carried on. We have, however, placed under 
Appendices VI and Vli translations from two documents which have been placed at 
our disposal . We are led to attach importance to Appendix VI because it throws 
light upon the methods by which Lenin endeavoured to impose his views upon 
the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and also upon what has been said in 
paragraphs 23 to 25 above. It embodies the fourth and fifth chapters of a work 
entitled ' ' Materials on the History of the Social and Revolutionary Movement in 
Russia, Volume I, The Bolsheviks," ' being a collection of documents on the history of 
Bolshevism from 1903 to 1916 in the possession of the former Moscow Secret Service. 
The volume was prepared for the press and supplied with a pref ace by M.A..Tsyavlovsky 
and published in Moscow in 1918 with the consent of the Soviet authorities as 
possessing historical interest. This book was lent to the Committee by the courtesy 
of M. Klishko, the secretary of the Russian Trade Delegation in London. It 
contains a series of reports furnished by the most trustworthy agents to the depart- 
ment of police under the old regime, and includes those of Malinovsky, a prominent 
member of the Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, 
whose election to the Duma was largely due to the support of the police. This fact, 
therefore, taken in conjunction with the care which, we are informed, was exercised 
by the department in testing the accuracy of its intelligence, lends support to the 
authenticity of the information which the book contains. A perusal of chapters IV 
and V will show : — ■ 

(1.) The virtual dissolution of the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee by 
Lenin. Lenin caused his followers to withdraw from the Bureau on the 
refusal of its Menshevik members to agree to call a plenary meeting of 
the Central Committee. • 

(2.) An agreement to convoke a general conference of the party at a meeting of 
seven persons summoned by Lenin and including Zinoviev, Kamenev and 
Semashko in addition to himself. 

(3.) The appointment of Rykov, the only member of the Central Committee at 
liberty in Russia, to arrange the elections to the proposed conference and 
his instructions (a) to obtain from the party organisations in Russia an 
approval of the action taken in dissolving the Foreign Bureau, and (b) to 
assure a Bolshevik majority at the conference by procuring the election of 
Bolshevik representatives only. 

(4.) The attempt of Lenin to dictate to his own followers in virtue of his power 
of attorney over the Bolshevik funds ; the remonstrances of Kautsky and 
Clara Tsetkin* against him. 

(5.) The arrest of Rykov t and certain of his associates in Russia and the 
circumstances under which the election to the conference were 
subsequently conducted. 

(6.) An account of the Prague Conference in 1912. 

* Clara Tsetkin was present as 'the representative of the Communist International at the recent 
congress of the French Socialist Party at Tours. 

+ Rykov is president of the Supreme Council of People's Economy in Soviet Russia at the 
present time. 


The Outbreak of War, August 1914. 

27. The outbreak of war in August 1914 threw the Socialist parties throughout 
the world into confusion. The resolutions adopted by the Second International 
against war and providing for international strike action in the event of the outbreak 
of war — resolutions taken in 1900 at the Paris Conference, at Stuttgart in 1907, in 
Copenhagen in 1910 and in Basle in 1912 — remained dead letters and entirely without 
effect. A great stream of the population in the various belligerent countries flowed 
into the war, and not only were the official leaders of the Socialist parties powerless 
to fight against this, but in a large number of cases they abandoned their opposition 
to capitalist government and gave their wholehearted support to the war. 

Effect on R.S.D.L.P. 

28. The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party suffered no less than others 
from the effects of the crisis. Alexinsky, formerly one of the ' Vperedovtsy, " or 

'Forwards," the extreme wing of the Bolsheviks, left the Bolshevik group and 
joined the so-called Social patriots. Plekhanov, who had for so long been associated 
with the Bolsheviks, and especially with Lenin, also stood out for the war. Martov, 
the leader of the Mensheviks, held fast to his internationalist views, and maintained 
his former opposition to war in general, while continuing to oppose Lenin. The 
Social-Democrat members of the Duma, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, declined to vote 
for war credits. It is, however, difficult to exaggerate the paralvsing effects of the 
war on Socialist leaders, and by far the most helpless were those who, while declining 
to support the war, nevertheless found themselves outcasts from the masses and 
unable to do more than bow before the tide of events. 

Lenin's Thesis on the War. 

29. Lenin alone stood firm. In the autumn of 1914 he published his thesis on 
the war. He pointed out that the European war had definitely assumed a character 
of a bourgeois, Imperialist war; its sole, real purpose was to plunder countries and 
to fight for markets. Its tendency was to befool, disunite and murder the proletariat 
of all countries in the interests of the bourgeoisie. He censured the conduct of the 
leaders of the German, Belgian and French Social Democrats, who had voted for 
war, as treachery to Socialism and the spiritual bankruptcy of the Second Inter- 
national. He professed to see the cause of this in the predominant influence of petty 
bourgeois opportunism in the International, and declared the task of the future 
International to be the irrevocable and decisive emancipation of Socialism from 
bourgeois influence. 

Lenin's anti-War Utterances. 

30. Turning to the situation in Russia, Lenin stated that the task of the Russian 
social democracy was merciless and unconditional struggle against the Great Russian 
and " Tsarist — monarchical — chauvinism,"' and against the efforts of the Russian 
Liberal Intellectuals to defend it. He therefore defined the programme of the 
Russian social democracy as follows : — 

(1.) Widespread propaganda advocating Socialist revolution among the 
troops, and especially at the front, emphasising the necessity of directing their 
weapons not against their brothers, 'the hired slaves of other countries," but 
against the reactionary bourgeois Government and parties in all countries. 
Hence it became necessary to organise illegal groups among the troops of all 
nations for the purpose of disseminating propaganda in all languages. Besides 
this, there must be a merciless struggle against the chauvinism and patriotism 
of the bourgeois and petty bourgeois of all countries. He appealed to the revolu- 
tionary conscience of the working masses, who bore on their shoulders the whole 
burden of the war, against the leaders who had betrayed Socialism. 

(2.) Republican propaganda, advocating the establishment of republican 
forms of government throughout Europe. 

Influence of the War on Lenin. 

31. It has been said that the war impelled Lenin further towards the Left, 
away from a more central position which, it has been seen, he formerly adopted in 
the Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. 

[5631] C 2 


32. It would, in our opinion, be truer to say, not that his views swung further to 
the Left, but that his attitude towards the possibility of realising his views in practice 
underwent a change with the war and made 'him feel that the outbreak of the 
European struggle, promising physical and economic suffering proportionate to the 
wide area over which it was waged would bring revolution nearer in one or other, 
perhaps in all. belligerent countries. Thus, while bitterly opposing the war and the 
mutual extermination of the proletariat in the interest of the bourgeois classes, he 
gradually began to calculate the possibilities of overthrowing capitalist society on a 
basis of the proletarian suffering which the war would bring about. It was not, 
therefore, that the war occasioned any fundamental change in Lenin's views. It was 
only that as the war went on, and widespread suffering was caused and extended more 
and more, that his ideas passed from the realm of shadowy political speculation to 
that of ideas whose realisation the morrow might see. 

Lenin and the Third International, Berne, March 1915. 

33. At a conference of foreign sections of the Russian Social Democratic Labour 
Party, held in March 1915 at Berne, on his own initiative, Lenin further developed 
his attitude to the war, and declared the necessity for establishing the Third Inter- 
national, which he was to succeed in doing exactly four years later in Russia. 

Zimmerwald Conference, September 1915. 

34. In September of that year, he was present at the International Conference 
of Socialists opposed to the war held at Zimmerwald, where he advocated the publica- 
tion of a manifesto urging the necessity of bringing the war to an end and replacing 
it with civil war in the various belligerent countries. 

Kienthal Conference, Spring 1916. 

35. In the following year he was present at a Second Internationalist Confer- 
ence held at Kienthal, where he bitterly attacked the Mensheviks for the support 
they had given to the war. In answ T er to this attack, Martov, representing the 
Mensheviks of the Left, presented to the conference a declaration of the Petrograd 
Menshevik workers, censoring the Social patriots and even those who had consented 
to serve on the War Industry Committee established in connection with the war. 
On this occasion Lenin, supported by Radek and Rosa Luxemburg, proposed to the 
conference that a policy of general strikes, sabotage and armed revolt should be 
resorted to for the purpose of bringing the war to an end. 

Causes leading up to the Revolution. 

36. We now proceed to consider the position in Russia towards the end of 1916, 
and to outline a series of factors which contributed collectively to demoralise the 
Russian army, to undermine the economic structure of the State, to discredit the 
autocracy, and thus create that atmosphere of despondency, despair and apprehen- 
sion which prevailed throughout Russia in the month of February 1917. 

37. The course of the war showed — 

Russian Industry and the War. 

(1.) That Russian industry, still in a relatively primitive stage of develop- 
ment, could not supply the technical equipment necessary to make a large army 
a potential fighting factor under conditions of modern war. 

The Administration and the War. 

(2.) That the Administration was corrupt and inefficient, and ill-suited to 
concentrate, adapt and develop the resources of the country for the successful 
prosecution of the war. 


(3.) That great numbers of men were mobilised indiscriminately, without 
regard to the maintenance of enterprises essential to the State both at home and 
at the front, or to the possibility of training and equipping those who were 

- 13 

called up. Thus, in 1916, there were thousands of unemployed soldiers in 
Petrograd and other centres, who, while as yet unaccustomed to army discipline, 
were left idle in the barracks. 

Deterioration of Railway Services. 

That, in a special degree, the railway services suffered (a) serious depletion, 
both of their experienced administrative staff and skilled mechanics; (6) owing 
to the transformation of certain railway repair shops into factories for the 
preparation of munitions. 

This occasioned a decline in the efficiency of the railway services, which 
ultimately became progressive. It was evident in 1916 that the transport system 
was no longer able adequately to maintain, at one and the same time, the supply 
of the armies at the front and of the population at home. 

38. This state of affairs reflected' very seriously on the operations of the army. 
The failure to supply sufficient heavy artillery, machine guns, rifles and ammunitions 
exposed the army to enormous losses at the hands of an enemy admirably equipped 
with the most powerful and deadly weapons of modern war. 

The Position of the Russian Army. 

39. Moreover, the shortcomings observed in the Government at home were 
repeated in the administration of the army, and in the handling of forces in the 
field. Absence among the officers of moral leadership over their men, deficiency of 
military knowledge, more especially among junior officers, and in the more highly 
technical branches of the service, was revealed as time went on. There was, more- 
over, an absence of sympathy among the officers for their men, which in many cases 
gave rise to bitter feeling against the officers among the rank and file. 


40. A statement of the losses of the Russian army from August 1914 until 
February 1917 is essential to an understanding of the situation both in the army and 
in the country, immediately prior to the revolution. The casualties of the army in 
the first ten months of the war are said to have been 3,800,000, and a Eussian staff 
officer has estimated the total losses up to the beginning of the revolution at 10,000,000, 
and expressed the opinion that the army had had to be replaced three times entirely 
along the whole front of 700 miles during the period August 1914 to January 1917. 
It is also said that the famous offensive of Brusilov in the summer of 1916, as a result 
of which 400,000 prisoners were captured, cost a similar number of lives, while a 
statement was issued by the Soviet Government in 1918, according to which the losses 
of the Russian army in killed during the European war are estimated at 1,700,000. 


41. These colossal losses created an extraordinary impression throughout the 
army. In addition to the incompetence and disorganisation everywhere prevailing, it 
was suggested that treachery was also active, and that forces were at work at the Court 
whose object it was to promote the defeat and dissolution of the army with a view to 
making inevitable the conclusion of a separate peace between Russia and the Central 
Powers. By the autumn of 1916 a large number of officers and the majority of the 
intelligentsia — patriotic, active and resolute — had been led to the conviction that a 
state of affairs had arisen w T hich could not be allowed to go on. It has been said that, 
eighteen months before the revolution broke out, discipline in the army had begun to 
be affected as a result of the disorganisation both at the front and in the rear and the 
enormous casualties sustained, and that revolution became a common subject of 
discussion among the officers in the messes of the Guard Regiments. 

Court Scandals — Pro-German Influence. 

42. The revelation, in the course of this year, of the scandals proceeding at the 
Court, and associated with the name of the Monk Rasputin, still further deepened 
popular resentment against the autocracy. The appointment of Shturmer, a 
notorious pro-German, as Prime Minister in December 1916, was quickly followed 
by the murder of Rasputin. It is held by many that the revolution may be said to 
have begun with these events. 



Food Shortage, Spring 1917. 

43. It was in these circumstances that the Duma met in February 1917. During 
this month blizzards interrupted railway traffic and the delivery of flour toPetrograd. 
The bread supply tailed. Long' queues were to be seen throughout the city, and in the 
working-class quarters bread was scarcely to be obtained at all. A series of mass 
demonstrations began. The bridges across the Neva were drawn up, but thousands 
of hungry men and women poured across the frozen river and made their way to the 
Nevsky Prospect on the other side. 

The Re colt of the Guard Regiments. 

44. On the morning of Monday, the 28th February /13th March, four Guard 
Regiments revolted, disarmed their officers, and killed or arrested them. The 
revolution had begun. 

The February Revolution. 

45. The revolution was sudden, spontaneous and all-embracing. All classes of 
the population gave to it their active support or tacitly acquiesced in it. It was so 
sudden and unexpected that there were no signs of any premeditated plan of revolu- 
tionary action. The soldiers of the Petrograd garrison, ignoring or opposing the 
orders of their officers, flowed out on to the streets of Petrograd and joined the 
hungry crowds of workmen. 

Revolt of the Petrograd Garrison — Helplessness of the Liberal Members of the Duma. 

46. The Liberal members of the Duma, who had created the atmosphere in which 
the revolution broke out, found themselves taken unawares and were utterly 
powerless. The Provisional Committee of the Duma, which was formed during the 
political crisis preceding the revolution, was unable to restrain the forces which the 
revolution had released. The city was in the power of a mass movement, irrespon- 
sible, uncontrolled and uncontrollable. 

Formation of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. 

47. On Tuesday, the 1st /14th March, M. V. Rodzyanko, the president of the 
Provisional Committee of the Duma, proceeded to communicate by telephone with the 
staffs on the various fronts, and thus secured the adhesion of the officers throughout 
the army to the revolution. At the same time, the Soviet of Workers', Soldiers' and 
Peasants' Deputies was being formed upon the model of the Soviet of 1905, in the 
Tavrichesky Palace, where the Duma used to hold its sessions and where the 
Provisional Committee of the Duma was then sitting. The Provisional Committee 
represented, broadly speaking, the Liberal elements of the Intellectuals. The 
Soviet, on the other hand, represented the Russian Socialist movement. 

Provisional Government Formed. 

48. On Wednesday, the 2nd /15th March, the Provisional Government was 
formed. The Executive Committee of the Soviet declined to put forward its candi- 
dates for posts in the Government, and confined itself to appointing a committee to 
act as an intermediary between the Soviet and the Provisional Government. A. L. 
Kerensky alone of the Socialists considered it his duty to enter the Government, and 
accepted the post of Minister of Justice. 

49. It is important for the purpose of this report that the character of the 
Soviet, the atmosphere in which it worked and its attitude towards the Provisional 
Government should be clearly understood — in the first place, because the Soviet was 
regarded as the leader of the revolution by the workers and soldiers in Petrograd and 
by the rank and file of the army and the popular masses throughout Russia ; second, 
because it was in the Soviet that the Bolsheviks were represented and in it that they 
came to play a more and more influential and ultimately a dominant role. The 
Provisional Committee of the Duma, on the other hand, loomed vaguely in the minds 
of the masses as a reactionary remnant of the old order w 7 hich had passed away. The 
tide of revolutionary events swept over it and it soon became forgotten. The 
Provisional Government, to which it had given birth, inherited the popular 
suspicion with which it was regarded. 


The Character of the Soviet. 

50. The Petrograd Soviet consisted of about 1,000 members, who were elected or 
appointed during and immediately after the revolution in a haphazard and indis- 
criminate manner from the military units of the Petrograd garrison and factories in 
and about the city. The Soviet appointed an Executive Committee of about 100 
persons to transact current business and direct its work. 

A tmosfhere. 

51. The Executive Committee in action at this period presented a picture of 
utter chaos. It sat daily from 1 o'clock, throughout the afternoon and night and 
often far into the morning. No rules of procedure had as yet been elaborated for it. 
The agenda was usually decided on the spot by the committee as a whole. At times 
not one of the questions, which it was elected to discuss, were decided, and often 
irrelevant issues arose, which diverted the attention of members from questions under 
discussion. The occasions upon which plenary sessions of the Soviet were held, are 
described by M. Stankevich* as affording an example of " catastrophic disorder." 
Most of those who attended these turbulent assemblies were taking part in political 
life for the first time and many of them were half illiterate. Additional confusion 
was introduced into the activities of the Soviet, inasmuch as its individual members 
took occasion to act in the name of the Soviet on a number of questions, large and 
small, without consulting the Executive Committee and without its knowledge. 
M. Stankevich concludes, with the following words, a graphic description of the 
conditions under which the Soviet conducts its work : " Most important decisions 
were taken often as a result of an entirely chance majority. There was no time to 
think, for everything was done in haste, after sleepless nights, and in confusion. 
Physical fatigue was general. Broken sleep — endless sessions — absence of regular 
meals, living on bread and tea, with sometimes a soldier's dinner eaten from mess- 
tins without knives and forks." 


52. Friction between the Provisional Government and the Soviet immediately 
arose owing to the following reasons : — 

(1.) The Soviet, while declining to participate in the Government and share its 
responsibilities, took executive action independently of tne Provisional 
Government, notably in the case of the Soviet's famous Order No. l,t 
recommending the formation of Soldiers' Committees in the army. 

(2.) The Soviet, showing an instinctive tendency, made inveterate by custom, to 
assume a negative attitude to the existing Government and, distrusting 
the Provisional Government as the representative of bourgeois interests, 
put forward a series of demands which were tantamount to reducing 
the authority of the Government to impotence. The Soviet made the 
following demands, among others : The substitution of militia, subor- 
dinated to organs of local self-government for the police, the retention of 
arms by the Petrograd garrison, and liberty— otherwise committees — in 
the army. 

Results of the Revolution in the Army. 

53. We now pass to the situation brought about by the revolution in the army. 
It has been seen — 

(1.) That discipline was undermined in the army before the revolution, and that 

the rank and file were weary of war. 
(2.) That the officers of the Russian army did not command as a whole the 

respect and confidence of their men, and that a gulf was thus created 

between them. 

(3.) That a number of officers had begun to regard revolution as inevitable if 
Russia was to remain in the war and play an efficient part in it. 

54. It was in these circumstances that, in accordance with the recommendations 
contained in Order No. 1, issued by the Petrograd Soviet, Soldiers' Committees or 
Soviets sprang up throughout the army. The complete absence of any plans govern- 

* M. Stankevich, although an army officer, was elected to represent his regiment on the Petrograd 
Soviet in March 1917. The description of the Soviet given above is taken from his book 
Vospommamya (Eeminiscences), 1914-1919," published in Berlin in 1920 
J Order No 1 was issued by the Soviet on the 2nd/15th March, to the Petrograd garrison, but 
was subsequently published throughout the army. 


ing the formation and procedure of these committees reproduced, on a far greater 
scale, the chaos which has been described in the Petrograd Soviet and still further 
increased the contusion which a change of this fundamental character might be 
expected to cause m the army. Committees were everywhere formed on different 
lines, in some cases with oiheers and in others without. The functions ol the 
committees, their duties and powers, and the methods by which they were elected 
were invariably left to the discretion of each particular committee itself. 
The result of these disrupting influences was — 
(a.) That the officers supported the Provisional Government and the soldiers 

supported the Soviet. 
(b.) That the army, upon which the Government relied to maintain the front 
against the 'enemy, and for support within the country in the last resort, 
lost all cohesion and became a source of danger to the Government itself. 

Results of the Revohction in the Country. 

55. The effects of the revolution in the countryside was an almost universal 
tendency on the part of the peasants to seize the estates of the landed gentry. In 
some cases, the landowners or their agents were killed or driven away. The lands of 
the Church were not exempt from this spontaneous and uncontrollable movement. 
Soviets of Peasants' Deputies sprang up in all parts of the country, and either began 
to exercise a dual power with the local representatives of the Provisional Government 
or took local affairs entirely into their own hands. The Zemstva (Boards of Local 
Self -Government) came to be looked on with suspicion and to lose their authority. 
This was because — 

(1.) They were regarded as the creation of the old regime. 

(2.) The' gentry serving on them were (a) opposed to the wholesale seizure of the 

land, and (b) supported the Provisional Government in its war attitude. 
(3.) The Bolsheviks, in the summer of 1917, began to agitate in the villages, to 

encourage the peasants to go on seizing the land and to discredit the 

zemstva as being organs for the oppression of the peasants by the 


The eight months from February to October 1917 may be divided into three- 
periods : — 

The first period, February 28 to April. 

56. During these two months the Petrograd Soviet enjoyed enormous popularity 
and authority. Representatives of the army and provincial Soviets flocked to it from 
the front and from all parts of Russia, clamouring for direction and advice. The 
Petrograd Soviet was for this brief space of time the embodiment of the revolution. 
We have seen, however, that whatever opportunity this unique position might have 
given the Petrograd Soviet of becoming an organising and controlling authority in 
the revolutionary movement was destroyed by the chaos which confused its own 

The second period, approximately from May to July. 

57. It was one of the ironies of the revolution that the Petrograd Soviet lost its 
popularity at the time when its leaders had succeeded in introducing into it those 
elements of organisation which were essential to any utilisation of the unique position 
in which it found itself after the outbreak of the February revolution. It was also 
at this time that the Soviet had come to realise the necessity of the participation of its 
representatives in the Provisional Government. The cause of this loss of popular 
confidence was the necessity under which the Soviet found itself of defining its 
attitude towards the European war. Whatever prestige the Provisional Govern- 
ment had had among the people melted away after the declaration of Milyukov, as 
Foreign Minister, supporting the acquisition of the Dardanelles by Russia on the 
successful conclusion of the war. 

58. An unbridgeable gulf separated Milyukov's views from those expressed by 
the Soviet in its manifesto to the people of the world published on the 27th March. 
So strong was the tide of popular feeling in favour of the manifesto that the 
Provisional Government itself was compelled to state its preparedness to raise the 
question of peace without annexations and contributions in its diplomatic relations 


with Allied Governments. But, with the arrival of more and more grave 'news from 
the front with regard to the growing disorganisation of the arm) ; with the arrival of 
foreign delegations of labour representatives, urging the necessity of the Russian 
army continuing to fight in the name of democracy for final victory over the Central 
Powers; with the necessity for representatives of the Soviets to participate in the 
Provisional Government, unless they were prepared, as they were not, to assume the 
entire responsibility for the Government of a disordered country — a sudden change 
swept over the Petrograd Soviet. This change was marked by the decision of the 
Soviet, accompanied, however, by various reservations, to support the war. The 
result was that among the troops in the Petrograd garrison, throughout the army, 
and in all parts of Russia the Soviet lost popularity. The Soviet proceeded to send 
its representatives to the front for the purpose of influencing the Army Committees 
to persuade the soldiers to fight. While, therefore, the relations between the 
Petrograd Soviet and the Government, in spite of the change, cannot be said to have 
undergone any material improvement, the effect of the Soviet's support of the war and 
of the entry of its members into the Provisional Government identified it, in the mind 
of the masses, with the Provisional Government as pursuing a policy which was 
opposed to the collective will of a spiritually exhausted and physically wearied 
people. Meanwhile the Bolsheviks had begun to play an important part in the 
Soviet, and Trotsky, almost immediately after his arrival from America, succeeded 
in establishing an ascendency at its meetings by his unbounded energy and fiery 

The Third Period, July to October. 

59. The hopes which had been raised of an improvement in the discipline of the 
army were dashed to the ground by the failure of the June offensive. The Bolsheviks, 
whose representatives had begun to appear on the Army Committees, upon the town 
Soviets and in the countryside, exploited the defeat to the utmost. They emphasised 
in their public utterances the inability of the army to fight further on behalf of a 
cause which they declared to be that of the class enemies of the proletariat and of the 
poor peasantry. Their prestige among the masses grew uninterruptedly, and, as the 
summer wore on, they began to develop more and more as a power in the Petrograd 
Soviet itself. The Provisional Government became a helpless figure-head. The 
misunderstanding between Kornilov and Kerensky finally discredited both the 
Government and those Avho saw the only hope of successfully opposing the Bolsheviks 
in the establishment of a military dictatorship. Amidst the divided counsels and 
mutual recriminations of those whose united action was essential to the stemming of 
the advancing tide the Provisional Government became a melancholy spectre of 
Governmental impotence. Alone among this babel of dissentient voices the cries of 
the Bolsheviks "Down with the War,' "Peace and the Land " and "The Victory 
of the Exploited over the Exploiters ' ' sounded a clear and certain note which went 
straight to the heart of the people. 

60. In the course of October the Bolsheviks secured the majority of the 
Petrograd Soviet. In the first days of November a manifesto was issued by the 
Soviet signed by two Bolsheviks, Podvoisky and Antonov, calling upon the troops of 
the Petrograd garrison to rise to the support of the Soviet which the manifesto 
declared to be in danger. With this manifesto what is known as the October* 
revolution may be said to have begun. For two or three days action on both sides 
was paralysed by fear and uncertainty. The Government were afraid to act because 
they felt the last shreds of power had slipped from them, the Bolsheviks because they 
could not bring themselves to believe that the Government were powerless to deal a 
counter-blow against them. Finally, however, they occupied the Government 
buildings one by one without opposition. The Provisional Government simply 
melted away. 

61. In the course of this introduction we have endeavoured to show — 

(1.) How the Bolsheviks came into being as a section of the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party. 

* According to the Julian Calendar, which was subsequently discarded by the Bolsheviks, the 
date was m October. According to the Gregorian Calendar it was in November. 

[5631] D 


(2.) The divergence in views between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. 

(3.) The circumstances in which the activities of the Russian Social Democratic 

Labour Party, and more especially of the Bolsheviks, were carried on. 
(4.) The attitude of the Bolsheviks to the European war which broke out in 

• August 1914. 
(5.) An outline of the causes leading up to the Russian revolution of February 

(6.) An outline of the^cvents leading up to the Bolshevik coup d'Etat of October 


62. Our conclusions with regard to the pre-war activities of the Bolsheviks are 

(1 .) The Bolsheviks strengthened the reactionary forces in the Imperial Russian 
Government by boycotting the elections to the First Duma, apd thus 
helped to destroy any possibility there might have been for an evolution 
towards democracy in Russia under the old regime. 

(2.) The severity of the police repression instituted after the reaction in 1907 
made it impossible for the Bolsheviks to establish and maintain contact 
with more than a small proportion of the Russian industrial proletariat, 
and this contact was often interrupted by the arrest of their members and 
the dissolution of their organisations in all parts of Russia. 

(3.) The Marxist doctrines advocated by the Bolsheviks were unintelligible to all 
but a few of those workers to whom they were addressed. 

(4.) Such influence as the Bolsheviks succeeded in obtaining in Russia before the 
first revolution of February 1917 is largely to be explained by the fact 
that the conditions of political and economic oppression in which the 
Russian workers lived made them willing to support any political 
programme which aimed at the overthrow of the autocracy in Russia. 

(5.) The Bolshevik party thus became divided into two parts: — 

(a.) A small and narrow minority of doctrinaires, holding extreme 

political views. 
(b.) A large majority of workmen to whom Marxist doctrines were 

either unintelligible or imperfectly understood. 

(6.) Hence arose a small, highly-disciplined Bolshevik staff, claiming to be the 
only true interpreters of Marx, and seeking to rivet their influence upon 
the Russian workers and to forge out of them a powerful and obedient 
\ weapon for the realisation of their political aims. 

(7.) After the revolution of February 1917 the Bolsheviks gradually obtained 
widespread popular support. Their programme offered peace to the army, 
land to the peasants and the control of industry to the industrial worker. 
Their success was made possible and assisted by — 

(a.) The political chaos and economic disorganisation existing in Russia. 

(b.) The war-weariness prevailing in the army and among the population 
as a whole. 

(c.) The inability of the Provisional Government successfully to meet the 
great burden of responsibility imposed upon them — a responsi- 
bility increased by having to encourage the continuance of military 
operations by a country where unsuccessful war had largely 
contributed to bring about a revolution. 

(d.) The successful subversive propaganda carried on by the Bolsheviks 

63. The absence of detailed and authoritative information has prevented us 
from making a chronological survey of the history of Russia during the last three 
years. We have, however, attempted to give in the following pages some account 
of the structure of the' Soviet Government and Soviet institutions and of various 
aspects of life in Soviet Russia during recent months. 


The Structure of the Soviet Government. 

The A 11- Russian Congress of Soviets. 

64. According to article 12 of the Soviet Constitution, the supreme authority in 
the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic is vested in the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets, and, during the period between the sessions of the Oflgress, in 
the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. 

The Village Soviets. 

65. In order to understand how the All-Russian Congress of Soviets is elected, 
it is necessary to take into account the smallest units of government . These are the 
village Soviets. 

The " Volost " Soviets. 

66. The next unit above the village in order is the " volost." The " volost " 
Soviet is somewhat analogous to our Rural District Council, if these Councils were 
composed of representatives of privileged voters in each village. 

The " Uiezd " Soviets. 

67. Next above the " volosts " in order of size comes the " uiezd," which may be 
compared in area to an English county, but the " uiezd " or county Soviet in Russia 
is not made up onlv out of village Soviets united to form a "volost" Soviet. 
There are also included in the " uiezd " representatives of all towns in the area with 
populations not exceeding 10,000 each. Each such town is a separate unit corres- 
ponding with a " volost " or group of villages, and the two kinds of units are found 
in combination in the "uiezd," just as in an English County Council the electoral 
divisions are either single urban districts or aggregates of villages. But in Russia, 
alike in town and village, it is the workers and peasants who form the basal unit, 
not as in most modern democratic States, the adult population, irrespective of 
occupation or opinion. It will be seen, therefore, that the "volost" Soviets are 
combined and absorbed in the "uiezd" Soviets. Thus the "uiezd" Soviet is 
composed of representatives of all the " volosts " in the area, plus representatives 
of all the Soviets of towns in the " uiezd " not exceeding 10,000 inhabitants each. 

68. Next in order above the " uiezd " we have the Soviet of a government, or 
province,* of Russia. Each government or provincial* Soviet is composed of repre- 
sentatives of each ' ' uiezd ' ' in the government or province, together with representa- 
tives of each town in the province, one representative being elected to the provincial 
Soviet for every 2,000 inhabitants in each town. The Soviets of towns under 10,000 
inhabitants are therefore doubly represented, once as part of the " uiezd " and again 
through the representative which they send direct to the provincial Soviet. 

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

69. Finally, above the Soviets of the governments or provinces is the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets. The All-Russian Congress is composed of representatives of 
the Soviets of each government or province in Russia and of representatives of each 
town of 25,000 inhabitants and upwards, A town of 25,000 inhabitants is entitled 
to send one representative to the^ All-Russian Congress of Soviets, a town of 50,000 
sends two representatives and so on. In cases where a town has, for example, more 
than 25,000 and nearer 50,000 than 25,000 inhabitants then it will elect two members. 
One representative is sent to the All-Russian Congress for 125,000 inhabitants of the 
country districts in each province. 

Double Representation of Towns. 

70. Here again the towns of 25,000 inhabitants and upwards have double 
representation. Their Soviets send delegates to the government or provincial Soviet 

* In this respect the words "province" and "provincial" are used to denote a division of 
Eussia which officially has become known as a " government " since, in the time of the Tsars, these 
were areas placed under a separate Governor. In this report the word "government" is reserved 
for the central authority. 

L5631] D 2 


and also to the All-Russinn Congress. In this way, for example, a town of 75,000 
inhabitants would send three representatives direct to the All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets and at least thirty-seven representatives to the Congress of Soviets of the 
province in which it happened to be situated. In addition, therefore, to a 
certainty of representation by three members directly elected by it to the All-Russian 
Oongress of Soviets, the town in question has the possibility of having some of its 
thirty-seven members on the Congress of Soviets of the province to which it belongs 
elected to the All-Russian Congress. In actual practice, some members of town 
Soviets returned to the government congresses, are always elected to the All-Russian 
Congress, and, in the majority of cases, in numbers far exceeding their proportion 
numerically to that of the representatives of the country districts at these provincial 
congresses, where both town and country Soviets are nominally represented. In 
practice representatives of the trade unions are found on the town Soviets and also 
on the Congresses of Soviets of the various Russian provinces, and trade union repre- 
sentatives are also elected both from the town Soviet and from the Congress of the 
Soviets of the province in which the towns happen to be situated, to the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets at Moscow. 

71. While there is no provision in the Soviet Constitution for the special repre- 
sentation of trade unions as such at the All-Russian Congress, nor on the subordinate 
bodies, official trade union representatives are elected to the All-Russian Congress 
from the town Soviets and from the Congresses of Provincial Soviets. The effect of 
this, therefore, is still further to strengthen the representation of the towns on the 
All-Russian Congress of Soviets, as the great majority of the trade union repre- 
sentatives live in the towns. Thus, in all these organs of administration the influence 
of the towns is apparently increased, and that in a country which is predominantly 

How Town Soviets are Elected. 

72. In towns or cities one representative is elected to the town Soviet for each 
1,000 inhabitants, but not less than fifty and not more than 1,000 representatives can 
be elected to a town Soviet. The powers possessed by the deputies thus elected extend 
over a period of three months. Each town Soviet elects an Executive Committee, 
one member being elected to the Executive Committee for each fifty members of the 
Soviet ; not less than three and not more than fifteen persons can be elected as members 
of the Executive Committee of the town Soviet except in the case of the cities of 
Petrograd and Moscow, where not more than forty can be so elected. Town Soviets 
should meet not less than once a week, and are convened by the Executive Committees 
at the discretion of the latter or on the demand of not less than one-half of the 
members of the Soviets. 

How Village Soviets are Elected. 

73. In the villages one representative is elected to a village Soviet for every 100 
inhabitants in the village, and the total number of representatives thus elected should 
be not less than three and not more than fifty. An Executive Committee is elected 
by the village Soviets on the same lines as laid down in the case of the town Soviets 
mentioned above. The Constitution indicates, however, that where feasible questions 
of local government should be decided directly by a general assembly of the electors in 
the village. Meetings of village Soviets should be held not less frequently than twice 
a week. 

How " Volost " Soviets are Elected. 

74. The " volost " Soviets are elected by the representatives of the Soviets of all 
the villages in a particular " volost,'' on a basis of one representative being elected 
for every ten members of each village Soviet. In cases where village Soviets have 
less than ten members they send to the " volost " Soviet one representative each. 
Meetings of the " volost " Soviets should be held once a month and are summoned by 
the Executive Committee of the " volost," which Committee should not exceed more 
than ten members in number. 


How the " Uiezd " Soviets are Elected. 

75. The Congresses of " uiezd " or county Soviets are composed of representa- 
tives of the village Soviets on a basis of one representative for every 1,000 inhabitants, 
and towns not exceeding 10,000 inhabitants send representatives to these Congresses. 
Not more than 300 representatives can be elected to the Soviets of an ' uiezd. ' : 
Each " uiezd " Soviet elects an Executive Committee of not more than fifty members. 
Meetings of " uiezd " Soviets should be summoned by the Executive Committees of 
the " uiezd " once every three months. It is stated that the village Soviets of 
districts numbering less than 1,000 inhabitants unite for the purpose of electing 
joint representatives to the " uiezd " Soviets. 

How the Government Congresses of Soviets are Elected. 

76. It has been seen above that one representative of the town Soviets is elected 
for every 2,000 inhabitants in a particular town to the Congress of Soviets of the 
province in which the town is situated, and one representative is sent to the 
Congress for every 10,000 inhabitants in the country districts throughout the province. 
The total number of representatives for an entire province should not exceed 300. 
It is also stated that in cases where an " uiezd " Congress of Soviets is called 
immediately preceding the Congress of the Soviets of the province in which the 

' uiezd " is situated, representatives are elected to the provincial Soviets by the 
"' uiezd " Soviets and not by the " volost " Soviets. The evidence of our witnesses 
shows that in many cases during the civil war elections to the All-Russian Congress 
have not been held, and that the Executive Committee of the town Soviets and of the 
provincial Congresses of Soviets have appointed from among their number delegates 
to represent the towns or country districts, as the case may be, at the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets. This practice was encouraged by the Central Committee of 
the Russian Communist Party with a view to preventing any radical change in the 
personnel of the All-Russian Congress. In the chapter dealing with the Eighth 
All-Russian Congress of Soviets, it w T ill be seen that the failure of the Executive 
Committee to summon their Soviets and to hold elections regularly, was the subject 
of censure in Zinoviev's speech at that Congress. 

77. In other words, the All-Russian Congress no longer consisted of persons 
chosen by provincial or town Soviets, which in their turn were chosen by smaller 
units, and so back to the individual voter, but were made up of persons nominated 
from the top by the Executive Committees from their own number. Instead of being 
the apex of a structure composed at each stage of elected bodies, it was merely a 
collection of members of Executive Committees selected by those committees 

78. According to article 26 of the Soviet Constitution the All-Russian Congress 
of Soviets should be summoned by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee not 
less than twice a year. Recently, however, the Congress has assembled not more 
frequently than once a year. 

Executive Committees of Provincial, " Uiezd " and " Volost " Soviets. 

79. Each provincial Soviet elects an Executive Committee of not more than 
twenty-five persons and this Executive Committee is responsible for summoning 
meetings of the Soviet once in three months. 

80. Congresses of '" volost," 'uiezd' and provincial Soviets must be sum- 
moned by the Executive Committees of these Congresses respectively. In addition 
to the meetings to be summoned within the prescribed periods mentioned above, 
meetings are also summoned on the demand of the Soviets of localities, the inhabitants 
of which represent not less than one-third of the population of the particular 
" volost," " uiezd " or provincial Soviet in question. 

Competence of the Village, " Volost " and " Uiezd " Soviets. - 

81. Each Soviet — village, " volost," " uiezd ' and provincial — is the highest 
authority within the particular territory which it represents, except in the case of 
the Soviets of the villages, where, as has been mentioned above, questions of adminis- 
tration are decided, where expedient, directly by a general assembly of electors. The 
representatives of the village Soviets have to subordinate their action, however to 


the decision of the " volost " Soviets, and the " volost " Soviets in their turn find a 
higher authority in the "uiezd ' Soviet, the tl uiezd ' in the provincial Soviets, 
and the provincial Soviets in the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. It is to the 
functions and competence of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets that we now turn. 
But the whole of this description will be misunderstood if it is not remembered that 
those who elect Soviets at any stage are not the adult population as under democracies 
but arc the population with many categories of persons remaining unenfranchised. 

The Franchise in Soviet Russia. 

82. According to article 64 of the Soviet Constitution it is stated that the 
following citizens of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic of either sex 
who, at the time of the elections have attained the age of 18 years, are accorded the 
right to elect and to be elected to membership in the Soviets : — 

(a.) All persons obtaining their means of livelihood by productive and socially 
useful labour, as well as persons engaged in, domestic service, who thereby 
enable the former to carry on their productive labours, such as workmen 
and servants of all kinds and categories engaged in industry, trade, 
agriculture, &c, peasants and cossack cultivators not using hired labour 
for the purpose of securing profit. 

(b.) Soldiers and sailors of the Soviet army and navy. 

(c.) Citizens who belong to the categories enumerated in paragraphs (a) and (b) 
of this article but who have in some degree lost their working capacity. 

Article 65, states that the following classes are deprived of a vote, viz. : — 

(a.) Persons using hired labour for the sake of profit. 

(b.) Persons living on unearned increment, such as interest on capital, income 

- from industrial enterprises and property, &c. 
(c.) Private traders, trading and commercial agents. 
(d.) Monks and ecclesiastical servants of churches and religious cults. 
(e.) Employees and agents of the former police, of the special corps, of 

gendarmes and of branches of secret police department, and also members 
, of the former reigning house of Russia. 
(/.) Persons duly recognised as mentally afflicted or insane, as well as persons 

placed in charge of guardians. 
(g.) Persons sentenced for crimes of speculation and bribery to a term fixed by 

law or by a judicial sentence. 

Powers of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

83. Under the Soviet Constitution the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, whether 
properly elected according to the articles of the Constitution or principally 
nominated by the Central Government, as appears to have occurred during the civil 
war, has the widest powers, and, in the period between its sessions, these powers are 
exercised by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee which the Congress elects. 
Among these powers are : — 

(a.) The confirmation or alteration and addition to the constitution of the 

(b.) The general direction of the entire foreign and internal policy of the 

Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic." 
(c.) The, establishment and alteration of frontiers, as well as the alienation o,f 

any part of the territory of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic 

or of the rights belonging to it. 
((?.) The determination of the powers possessed by and the boundaries between 

the various Soviet organisations of the "oblasts," which go to make up 

the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, as well as the settlement 

of disputes among them. 
(/ .) The admission into the R.S.F.S.R. of new federal parts of the Soviet 

Republic and the acknowledgment of the withdrawal of any part of the 

Russian Federation from the Union. 
(/ ) General division of the territory of the R.S.F.S.R. for administrative 

purposes, and the confirmation of provincial unions of Soviets, making 

up an " oblast." 
{a.) The establishment and change of the systems of weights, measures and 

currency within the territory of the R.S.F.S.R. 


(h.) Relations with foreign Powers, the declaration of war and the conclusion 

of peace. 
(/.) The contracting of loans, customs and commercial treaties, as well as the 

conclusion of financial agreements. 
(j.) The establishment of a general plan of public economy and of its different 

departments within the territory of the R.S.F.S.R. 
(/.-.) The confirmation of the Budget of the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet 

(/.) The fixing of a general system of State taxation and of compulsory services. 
(m.) The establishment of a plan of organisation for the armed forces of the 

Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic. 
(n.) General State legislation, jurisprudence and judicial proceedings, civil and 

criminal legislation, &c. 
(o.) The appointment and dismissal of individual members of the Council of 

People's Commissaries, as well as of the entire Council of People's 

Commissaries as a whole, and also the confirmation of its chairman. 
(??.) The publication of general decrees concerning acquisition and loss of 

rights, of Russian citizenship, and concerning the rights of foreigners on 

the territory of the Republic. 
(q.) The right of general or partial amnesty.. 

Article 50 comprehensively states that : — 

' Besides the matters above indicated the All-Russian Executive Committee ' 
have the right to deal with all questions which they recognise as pertaining to 
their j urisdiction . ' ' 

Again in article 51 : — 

' The following questions fall exclusively within the competence of the All- 
Russian Congress' of Soviets : — 

' (a.) To confirm, amplify and modify the principles of the Soviet 

" (b.)~ The ratification of peace treaties." 

84. In practice, however, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets is unable to 
exercise any effective control on the questions enumerated above. Having regard to 
the fact that the Congress has been composed in the past of from 1,000 to 2,000 
members, and that the session of the Congress does not last more than seven days, it 
is clear that there is no opportunity of detailed discussion of the majority of the 
questions enumerated above, and also our evidence goes to show that a iarge number 
of members of the Congress have had no experience of public affairs and apparently 
no previous training or information on the matters which come before them. 

The All-Russian Central Eocemtime Committee. 

85. The_All-Russian Central Executive Committee is the supreme authority in 
Russia according to the Soviet Constitution during the periods when the All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets is not sitting./ It is elected annually by the All-Russian Congress 
and about 100 persons styled " candidates " are also elected, who are available to 
take the place of members of the Committee who may, by reason of appointments to 
posts in the provinces, illness, death or other causes, be unable to take their places 
upon it. As a result of a decision taken at the 8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets 
the number of members on the All-Russian Central Executive Committee was 
increased to 300. The All-Russian Central Executive Committee may be said to 
have had its origin in the Central Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet 
established after the Russian revolution of February 1917. 

The Presidium. 

86. The All-Russian Central Executive Committee elects from amono- its 
members a Presidium. The Presidium and other members of the 7th All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee, which was in office during 1920, were replaced bv the 
Presidium and members^of the 8th All-Russian Central Executive Committee who 
were elected at the meetiug of the 8th Congress of Soviets which assembled at Moscow 
on the 20th December, 1920. The lists of the Presidium of the 7th and 8th All- 
Kussian Central Executive Committee are given side by side below. In view of their 


importance some information regarding individual members of them follows. The 
lists have been divided into Right (R), Centre (C) and Left (L), according to their 
political orientation in the Communist Party. 

Seventh Presidium, 1920. 

President — 

1. Kalinin, M. f. (C). 

2. Kamenev, I;. B. (C). 

3. Enukidze. A. S. (R). 

4. Lutovinov, Y. (C). 

5. Rykov, A. I. (R). 

6. Muralov, A. I. (C). 

7. Nevsky, V. I. (C). 

8. Sapronov, 13. P. (R). 

9. Badaev, A. E. (C). 

10. Kisilev, A. S. (R). 

11. Dukharin, N. I. (L). 

12. Rakovsky, K. G. (C). 

Kighth Presidium, 1921 

Preside nt- 


1. Kalinin, M. I. (C). 

2. Kamenev, L. B. (0). 

3. Enukidze, A. S. (R)- 

4. Lutovinov, Y. (C). 

5. Rykov, A. 1. (R). 
G. Stalin, I. V. (C). 

7. Vladimirsky, M. F. (C). 

8. Sapronov, B. P. (R). 

9. Kntuzov, I. I. (R). 
Tomsky, M. P. (R). 
Petrovsky, G. I. (L). 
Zalutsky, P (L). 
Smidovich, P. G. (L). 

87. In view of the importance of the Presidium the following biographical notes 

regarding its members are given : — 

(1.) M. I. Kalinin. — Kalinin was born in 1875 and is a peasant from the Tver Province. 
He was formerly employed upon the Municipal Kailways in the city of Tver. He has been for 
many years associated with the Bolshevik group of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party 
and was formerly engaged in reorganising branches of the party which had been destroyed as a 
result of the repressive measures undertaken by the Kussian police against the Socialist parties. 
After the death of Sverdlov in 1919, he was elected president of the All-Kussian Central Executive 
Committee. He is said to be a man of colourless personality, and it is suggested that he was 
for this reason proposed as a candidate for the Presidency, it being thought likely that he would 
not exercise a disturbing influence on the political situation. He takes great interest in the 
. activities of the department for propaganda among the peasantry which has been established 
under the auspices of the Central Executive Committee, and is constantly making tours through- 
out Russia for the purpose of addressing meetings of peasants. 

(2.) L. B. Kamenev. — Kamenev was born at Tiflis on the 22nd July, 1883, and from 1904 
onwards was actively engaged on political work in the Moscow group of the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party. In 1905 and 1907 he took part in the conferences of the party in 
London, and in 1908 attended the conference of the party held in Paris. From 1910 onwards 
he lectured at the propaganda school established by the Lenin group of the party at Lonjumeau, 
near Paris, taking as his subject "The History of the Bourgeoisie in Russia." During this 
period he was busy preparing a brochure in reply to a pamphlet which had been published by 
Martov, the Mefashevik leader, against the Bolsheviks. Martov's pamphlet was entitled 

' Saviours or Destroyers," and Chapter IV, which devoted special attention to Bolshevik 
practices, was entitled "An Orgy of Trickery." In 1912, Kamenev attended the so-called 
" General Conference of the Party " convoked by Lenin at Prague in January of that year. 
With the exception of two Menshevik representatives the eighteen members of the conference 
were Bolsheviks (see Appendix). On the outbreak of war in 1914, Kamenev made an anti-war 
speech before a conference in Finland which was attended by four Bolshevik members of the 
Duma, Petrovsky, Badaev (who have been mentioned above), Samoilov and Muranov. In this 
speech he pointed out that the only true policy for a Marxist was " "War against War." He, 
together with others who attended the conference, were subsequently arrested on a charge of 
defeatist activities and condemned to exile. After the outbreak of the Russian revolution 
in the spring of 1917, Kamenev became a member of the Petrograd Soviet and later, after the 
Bolshevik revolution in the autumn of that year he became a member of the Moscow Soviet, of 
which he was ultimately appointed President, and also member of the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee. In July 1920, he was appointed to proceed to England as head of a 
Soviet Peace Delegation and the circumstances of his departure from England in August in 

connection with revelations as to Bolshevik propaganda are well known. Kamenev in January 
1921, was appointed President of the Emergency Commission for the supply of the capitals, 
established by the Council of Labour and Defence to take special measures in regard to the 
serious fuel crisis which has become extremely acute during the last few months. He is said to 
have married Trotsky's sister. 

(3.) A. S. Enukidze, is a Georgian and is one of the most attractive personalities in the 
Bolshevik Party according to information we have received from more than one source. He 
has long been associated with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, is regarded as an 
honest and upright man and as belonging to the Right wing of the Bolshevik Party. He is 
a friend of Chertkov, who was the secretary of Tolstoy. He is said to have been instrumental 
in saving the lives of a number of innocent persons who were condemned to death by the 
Extraordinary Commission during the revolution. In February 1921, Chicherm offered the 
mediation of the Soviet Government in the hostilities which had arisen between Georgia and 
Armenia, and proposed that Enukidze should proceed to Georgia as mediator. 


(4.) Lutovinov, Y. K. — Lutovinov is a member of the Collegium of the All-Russian Central 
Soviet of Trade Unions and one of the secretaries of Kalinin, the president of the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee. 

(5.) Rykov, A. I. — Rykov is said to have been born in Saratov of peasant parents in 1881 
and to have become a clerk and a translator into foreign languages. He was for many years 
one of the right-hand men of Lenin in organising the Bolshevik group of the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party. He has always been a moderate Communist and was anxious to 
compose the differences between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in former days. He is President 
of the Supreme Council of People's Economy in Moscow at the present time. 

(6.) Muralov, A. I. — Muralov is a young and energetic Communist who was the first 
Commandant of the Moscow Military District after the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917. 
He is an agricultural expert and rumours were circulating in Moscow during the summer of 
1920, that there were possibilities that he would replace Sereda as People's Commissary for 
Labour. These suggestions have, however, so far received no justification in fact. A manifesto 
by Muralov prescribing certain means of fighting against the failure of the harvest this year 
will be found in the " Derevenskaya Bednota," (The Village Poor) for the 14th August, 1920. 
Maralov was a member of the Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee (1920). 

(7.) Nevsky, V. I. — He is a member of the Editorial Collegium of the Publishing Depart- 
ment of the Soviet Government, and is also associated with the work of the Agitation - 
Propagandist Section and of the Distributing Section of the Department. Nevsky is also 
Director of the Section for propaganda work in rural districts and of the peasants' section under 
the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party. 

(8.) Sapronov, B. P. — Sapronov has been for many years a well known Trade Union worker 
and a member of the Bolshevik Section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. It will 
be seen that he is mentioned in paragraph 189 as one of those moderate Communists who have 
begun to protest against the autocratic action of the Council of People's Commissaries. 

(9.) Badaev, N. E. — Badaev is an old party worker of the Bolshevik Section of the Russian 
Social Democratic Labour Party. He was a member of the Fourth Duma, 1912-1917, and in 1914 
was arrested for participating in a conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party 
in Finland (September 30th to October 1st) where Kamenev delivered an important speech 
against the European war. Badaev was subsequently exiled. Soon after .the revolution of 
February 1917, Badaev became a member of the Petrograd Soviet, and, after the Bolshevik 
coup d'Etat of October 1917, he became a member of the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee and later of its Presidium. He used to take a prominent part in the administration 
of Petrograd and was until recently president of the Petro-Kommuna, or Petrograd Food 
Administration. It is said that he then fell under a temporary clo\id owing to charges of 
speculation, which were preferred against him, and even that he was summoned to Moscow 
and imprisoned in the Butirky gaol. The latest information shows that, if he was in prison, he 
was speedily released, as he is now said to be a prominent official in the People's Commissariat 
for Food, at Moscow.' 

(iO.) Kisilev,A. 8. — Was a member of the Seventh Ail-Russian Central Executive Committee 
and a member ofi the Presidium of that Committee. He was president of the Soviet of the 
industrial area of Ivanovo- Voznesensk in the Government of Vladimir, not far from Moscow, 
and is president of the All-Russian Miners' Union. 

(11.) Bukharin, N. I. — Bukharin was the son of a Councillor of the Russian Court, and 
born in 1879. He belonged to the Orthodox Church and was a student of Moscow University. 
He early became associated with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and was arrested 
in 1902 as a member and organiser of a committee of the party in the Zamoskvonetsky District 
of Moscow, and was exiled to fire Archangel Province. Shortly after the outbreak of the 
Russian revolution in February 1917, Bukharin became a member of the Petrograd Soviet, 
and, after the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917, he became a member of the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee and a member of the Presidium of that Committee. He is a 
member of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party. On the 27th January, 1918, 
he was appointed by a Decree of the Commissaries of the People, a member of the Governing Body 
of the People's State Bank. He is also a member of the Editorial Collegium of the Publishing 
Department of the Soviet Government. Bukharin is one of the most prominent Communist 
theorists and may be regarded as the leader of the Communists of the Left. 
He was immediately elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist 
International on its foundation, in March 1919, at a time when the more 
moderate Communist leaders, including Lenin himself, were elected not as members, but only 
as candidates to the Executive Committee. Bukharin's literary activities are varied, and he 
frequently contributes to the various Soviet newspapers, especially in Petrograd, where he 
lives. As far as Western Europe is concerned, the most interesting of his works is his 
' Communist Programme," which was first published in 1918, again in 1919, and a third 
edition of which is understood to have been published in 1920. The following is an extract 
from Chapter XIX of the ' ' Communist Programme " : — 

' The International Republic of Soviets will liberate from oppression hundreds of 
millions of those who live in the Colonies. The ' Civilised Robber Powers ' have 
tortured and torn the population of the Colonial countries by a bloody regime. European 
civilisation has been supported on the blood of ruthlessly exploited peoples in distant 
countries overseas. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat — and only it — will free them." 

The best known, however, of his latest works in Russia are " Economics of the Transitory 
Period," and " Political Economy," both published during 1919-1920. With regard to policy, 
he has always been opposed to the suggested granting of concessions in Russia to foreign 

[5631] E 


capitalists and lias recently been actively engaged with some success in influencing the rank 
and tile of the Communist Party, who have shown signs of opposing the Concessions Policy 
as a departure from Communist principles. 

(12.) Rakovsky, K. (}. — Was intimately associated before the war in tne Socialist politics of 
Eoumania, but also maintained relations with the Bolshevik Group of the Russian Socialist 
Democratic Labour Party. After the outbreak of the war he took part with Lenin in various 
meetings of Socialists. In February 1910 he made a speech before Socialists at Berne in which 
he declared that the Third International was already founded and that its aim should be to 
take vengeance for the war in the struggle for the social revolution. In the Soviet Government 
Rakovsky occupies a prominent position. He is a member of the Central Committee of the 
Russian Communist Party and president of the Council of People's Commissaries for the 
Ukraine. After the conclusion of the Peace of Brest-Litovsk between Soviet Russia and 
Germany in 1918 Rakovsky was appointed a member of the delegation of the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee to proceed to Berlin for the purpose of attending meetings of 
German Trade Unionists and Socialists. The delegation was, however, prevented from 
entering Germany by the German authorities. 

(13.) Stalin, I. V. (Dzhugashvili). — Is undoubtedly the ablest of the many Georgians who 
are working under the Soviet Government, and there is reason, to believe that, as an- organiser 
and a man of action Stalin is second only to Trotsky. He was formerly one of the principal 
organisers of the Bolshevik Section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and a close 
collaborator with Lenin. He was twice exiled to the Vologda Province and once to Siberia. 
After the outbreak of the Russian revolution of February 1917 he became a member of the 
Petrograd Soviet and after the Bolshevik coup d'Etat of October 1917 he became People's 
Commissary for State Control and People's Commissary for Nationalities, i.e., dealing with 
th^ affairs of the non-Russian nationalities of Russia of which he is a representative himself. In 
this latter capacity he was associated with the endeavours of the Soviet Government to set on 
foot a subversive propaganda in the East. He was also for some time Military Commissar of the 
South -We stern Russian Front during 1918-1919. In August 1920, he attended the Muhammadan 
Communist Congress at Baku, and thence proceeded to Erivan, in Armenia, and Angora, the 
headquarters of Mustapha Kemal Pasha in connection with the negotiations proceeding between 
the latter and the Soviet Government. He has a reputation for remarkable force of character 
and considerable ability. 

(14.) Vladimirsky, M. F. — Assistant People's Commissar for Internal Affairs. Was a 
candidate for the Presidium of the Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee, that 
is to say he was one of those elected to take the place of the actual members in case of their 
inability to be present at a meeting owing to illness, death or other reasons. 

(15.) Petrovsky, G. I. — Born in the Province of Kharkov, and represented the workers of 
the Ekaterinoslav Province in the Second and Fourth Dumas. Petrovsky was a prominent 
member of the Russian Social Democratic Party before the war. In December 1912 he was one 
of those who took part in the sessions of the Central Committee of the party at Cracow in 
Poland, where Lenin, Zinoviev, Stalin and Malinovsky, the spy, were present. He was one 
of the so-called Bolshevik " Shestiorka ' or ' Six ' in the Fourth Duma. He 
declined to attend a propaganda school which Lenin proposed to set up abroad 
in 1913. He attended the Conference of the Members of the Central Committee 
of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party held in Galicia in September 1913, where Lenin, 
Zinoviev, Kamenev and B'adaev were also present, and was appointed by the conference to 
proceed to Kiev to collect funds for the party. When the war broke out, Petrovsky attended 
a meeting of members of the Bolshevik section of the party in Finland, on which occasion 
Kamenev was present and made a speech condemning the war. As a result of this meeting, 
Petrovsky and others who took part in it were arrested and exiled. After the outbreak of the 
revolution of February 1917, Petrovsky returned from exile and became a member of the 
Petrograd Soviet. After the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 he occupied the post of People's 
Commissary for Agriculture and later People's Commissary for Finance. He was a member 
of the Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee during 1920. In January 1921, he 
was elected president of the Central Executive Committee of the Ukraine Soviet Government. 

(10.) Kutuzov, I. I. — A candidate of the Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee, 
and president of the Central Committee of the Textile Workers' Union. 

(17.) Tomsky, M. P. — President of the All-Russian Central Soviet of Trade Unions. Also a 
candidate of the Presidium of the Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee. 

(18.) Zalutsky, Peter. — A Left member of the Petrograd Soviet. 

(19.) Smidovich, P. G. — A Left member of the Moscow Soviet, and a member of the 
Seventh All-Russian Central Executive Committee which has just gone out of office. He is a 
member of the Collegium of the Moscow Soviet of People's Economy. 

88. The All-Russian Central Executive Committee is evidently too large to take 
direct executive action. It is, however, to be regarded as governor and controller of 
the executive departments of State which divide between them the actual supreme 
control of national affairs. The chief branches of this executive are : — 

(A.) The Supreme Revolutionary Tribunal, which has some analogy to the 
Supreme Court of Judicature in England, and resembles more the Revolutionary 
Tribunals of the France of Robespierre. 


The Tribunal was presided over in 1920 by Com. Ozol, who was a candidate to 
the Central Executive Committee at that time. He is, we believe, identical with an 
Ozol who< took part in the Terrorist activities of the Maximalist section of the Social 
Revolutionary Party in 1907-8. Krylenko, who is identical with the Krylenko who 
became Commander-in-Chief of the army after the October revolution, is Public 
Prosecutor under the Tribunal. The functions of the Supreme Revolutionary 
Tribunal are vague. 

The Official Handbook states : — 

' The Supreme Revolutionary Tribunal of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee 
deals with matters of high State importance, entrusted to it by decrees of the Presidium of the 
All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Under the Tribunal there are two departments:-— 

" (1.) The Investigation Department: 

" (a.) Examines cases of high State importance which are removed from the competence 
of the ordinary courts and transferred for examination by the Supreme Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal, and pronounces decision upon cases referred for investigation by 
the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and 
' (b.) Conducts investigations into cases referred to it from various judicial and other 
institutions, presenting reports to the Presidium of the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee regarding the progress made with them. 

" (2.) The Cassation Department: 

' (a.) Examines complaints and protests on cases arising in all Tribunals of 'the Republic, 

" (b.) Controls the activity of these tribunals." 

The Council of People's Commissaries. 

89. (B.) The Council of People 's-Commissaries has some analogies to the 
British Executive Govel-nment, the actual People's Commissa ries for ming a. kind of 

~ca"bTne1n — tt-i«-aetually~appointed by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. 
-Aeeomiing to the Official Handbook of Central and Local Institutions of the Russian 
Socialist Federative Soviet Republic — 

xj/ The Soviet of People's Commissaries directs the general administration of the affairs of 
thei Turitjiau Soci alist Federative Soviet R epublic. — ^ftr-pi^-ish«s---d^erees^-o^ers-,---inBtructions 
and in general takes all measures necessary for the regular and speedy ordering of the affairs 
of the State. All these measures are subject to reference to the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee for consideration and confirmation." 

90. It is expressly stated in the Soviet Constitution that the Soviet of People's 
Commissaries is wholly responsible to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets and the 
All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Individual Commissaries and members 
of Collegia are responsible to the Council of People's Commissaries, and the All- 
Russian Central Executive Committee. 

91. There are sixteen People's Commissariats and a People's Commissary* 
stands at the head of each of them, and is supported by an Assistant People's 

92. A Collegium, the members of which are confirmed in their appointment by 
the Soviet of People's Commissaries, is attached to each People's Commissary and 
sits under his presidency. 

93. These People's Commissariats and the People's Commissaries and Assistant 
People's Commissaries attached to them are : — 


People's Commissary. 

1. War 

2. Internal Affairs 

3. Justice . . 

4. Ways and Communications 

L. D. Trotskv . . 
V. E. Dzerzhinsky 
D. I. Kursky . . 


People's Commissaries. 


M. F. Vladimirsky. 

Not known. 

V. M. Sverdlov. 



* The President of the Council of the People's Commissaries is V. I. Lenin. 

f Borisov was Assistant Minister of Ways and Communications under the Provisional Government in 


E 2 




People's Commissary. 

People's Commissaries. 



N. N. Krestinsky 

S. E. Chutskaev. 


Education . . • . . 

A. V. Lunacharsky 

. . 

M. N. Pokrovsky. 


Posts and Telegraphs 

A. M. Lyubovich (Actii. 


Not known. 


Public Health 

M. A. Semashko 

. . 

Z. P. Soloviev. 


State Control (Workers' and 

Peasants' Control) 

1. V. Stalin 

* • 

A..V. Avaneaov. 


Nationalities (Non-Russian 

Nationalities of Russia) 

I. V. Stalin 

, . 

N. Narimanov.* 



A. P. Seieda 

. . 

N. N. Osinsky 


Labour and Social Welfare . . 

V. V. Shmidt . . 

. , 

A. N. Vinokurov. 


Foreign Affairs 

G. V. Chicherin 

L. M. Karakhan. 



A. D. Tsyuryupa 

. • 

N. P. Bryukhanov. 


Foreign Trade 

L. B. Krasin 



A. M. Lezhava. 


Supreme Council of People's 

V A. I. Rykov . . 


V. P. Milyutin. 
G. I. Lomov. 

94. Everything possible has been done to ensure the accuracy of the above list. 
Some confusion is created by the fact that certain People's Commissaries, while still 
retaining their posts nominally are principally, if not entirely, engaged on other 
work. For example, Krasin continued to retain the post of People's Commissary 
for Ways and Communications eight months subsequent to his leaving Russia, as 
Vice-President of the Russian Trade Delegation, which ultimately proceeded to 
England. During his absence Trotsky assumed control over, the Commissariat of 
Ways and Communications, but this was only temporary and he did not, as suggested 
in the European press, replace Krasin as People's Commissary. Similar doubts 
arise as to the exact position of Dzerzhinsky, who, in addition to being nominally 
People's Commissary for Internal Affairs, is also President of the All-Russian and 
Moscow Extraordinary Commissions and assumed Kamenev's post as President of 
the Moscow Soviet on the latter 's departure for England as President of the Soviet 
Russian Peace Delegation. It would seem impossible that Dzerzhinsky should have 
succeeded in discharging responsibilities so many and varied and support is lent to 
this by the fact that VladimirsKy has been mentioned in the Moscow Wireless Press 
as People's Commissary for Internal Affairs, although no statement regarding his 
official appointment to this position has been seen by us. We are inclined to think 
that Dzerzhinsky still retains the nominal title of People's Commissary for Internal 
Affairs, but that Vladimirsky exercises complete control over the work of the 

95. It also appears that Stalin has for some time ceased to take an intimate part 
in the work of the Workers' and Peasants' Control, and that in addition to his other 
work as People's Commissary for Nationalities he has devoted a considerable amount 
of time to military work. In these circumstances Avanesov, the Assistant People's 
Commissary of the Workers' and Peasants' Control, has virtually been in charge of 
the Commissariat. 

96. If it has been difficult to establish who is actually People's Commissary in 
some of the Commissariats, the difficulties of following the rapid changes in the 
personnel of the Collegia attached to the various Commissariats is far greater. Some 
of the members of these Collegia are important men while others are insignificant. 
In these circumstances, therefore, it is not proposed to touch upon the personnel of 
the Collegia here. 

The Maly Soviet. 

97. (C.) The Maly, or small Soviet, has analogies to a Committee of the 
Cabinet in this country and, as regards its composition, to the Committee of National 
Defence during the war and, as regards its work, to a Committee of the Cabinet for 
drafting legislation. 

This Council is, in the words of the Official Handbook, a Commission for 

* Narimanov is now President of the Azerbaijan Soviet Government, which was established at 
Baku in April 1920, and it is therefore doubtful whether he still retains the post of Assistant People's 
Commissary for Nationalities. 


" examining all such legislative proposals and questions of administration as demand 
preparatory discussion in detail and giving a hnal decision in the name of Soviet of 
People's Commissaries in respect of those of them upon which the unanimous agree- 
ment of all members of the Maly Soviet, together with representatives of the depart- 
ments interested and the People's Commissary of Justice is obtained." In cases 
where disagreements arise in the Maly Soviet the question in dispute is referred for 
decision to the Soviet of People's Commissaries. The Maly Soviet is elected by the 
Soviet of People's Commissaries, principally from members of the Collegia of the 
People's Commissariats of Justice, Workers' and Peasants' Control, Internal Affairs, 
Finance, People's Economy and Labour, including one representative from each. The 
following are members of the Maly Soviet : Anikst, Galkin, Kozlovsky, Milyutin, 
Chutskaev, Obolensky and Sheverdin.' 5 Anikst is the representative of the Commis- 
sariat of Labour, Galkin the representative of the Workers' and Peasants' Control, 
formerly known as the People's Commissariat of State Control, Kozlovsky represents 
the Ministry of Justice, Milyutin, who came to England as a member of the Trade 
Delegation in the course of the summer, represents the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy, Chutskaev represents the Commissariat of Finance, as also does 
Obolensky.*' We have been unable to ascertain what department is represented by 
Sheverdin, but it is suggested that he is identical with an official of the same name 
who is a member of the Financial Department of the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy. Anikst is a prolific writer in the ' ' Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn ' ' (Economic 
Life) and in various official publications and trade union journals. Obolensky is 
understood to have shown considerable opposition to the policy of wholesale 
nationalisation. All the members of the Maly Soviet may be regarded as moderate 

The Council of Labour and Defence. 

98. (D.) The Council of Labour and Defence was a Committee of People's 
Commissaries established during the civil war against Denikin and Koltchak for the 
purpose of co-ordinating the activities of all Commissariats and institutions under 
the Soviet Government, dealing with or affecting the army. The Council ha^s now 
been reconstituted, in accordance with the decision taken at the Eighth All-Russian 
Congress, as a Committee of the People's Commissaries charged with controlling the 
whole of the economic life of the country and with elaborating and supervising the 
execution of a unified plan of economic administration. 

The following are members of the Council : — 

(1.) The President of the Council of People's Commissaries, as President of the 

Council of Labour and Defence. 
(2.) The People's Commissary for War. 

(3.) The President of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 
(4.) The People's Commissary for Labour. 
(5.) The People's Commissary for Ways and Communications. 
(6.) ThePeople's Commissary for Food. 
(7.) The People's Commissary for Agriculture. 

(8.) The People's Commissary for the Workers' and Peasants' Control. 
(9.) A representative of the All-Russian Soviet of Trade Unions. 

Analysis of the Political Orientation of the People's Commissaries. 

99. The following is a suggested division of People's Commissaries and 
Assistant People's Commissaries, into Right, Left and Centre, according to the 
political position occupied by its various members in the Communist Party in those 
cases where we have found it possible to form a judgment : 


A. I. Rykov 

A. V. Lunacharsky 

M. A. Semashko . 

G. V. Ckicherin 

L. B. Krasin 

A. V. Avanesov 

V. M. Sverdlov 

V. P. Milyutin 

G. I. Lomov 

— Lezhava 

M. N. Pokrovsky . 


V. I. Lenin 
L. D. Trotsky 
N. N. Krestinsky. 
I. V. Stalin. 
V. V. Shmidt. 
A. D. Tsyuryupa. 
M. P. Vladimirsky. 
— Sklyansky. 
N. Narimanov. 
A. M. Lyubovich. 


F. E. Dzerzhinsky. 

Obolensky is also a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 


100. It would appear at first sight that the Right are far stronger than is 
actually the case. In actual fact Rykov and Krasin are the only members of the 
Communists o\' the Right mentioned above who have any influence, and the evidence 
which we have received goes to show that this influence is small. On -the other hand, 
the Centre is represented on the Council by four strong men in Lenin, Trotsky, 
Krestinsky and Stalin. It is not, however, in the Council of People's Commissaries, 
which may be compared to the Cabinet in other countries, that the ultimate power 
lies, but in the Central Committee of the Communist Party, to which we now turn. 

The Communist Party. 

101. According to statements which have appeared in the Moscow "Wireless 
Press, and which have been confirmed by witnesses, the Bolshevik or Communist 
Party in Russia was said to number 600,000 members during 1920. Another 
estimate gives the number of members in the party as 150,000, and this is probably a 
more accurate statement. If, therefore, the population of Russia at the present 
time is computed at 120,000,000, 1 in every 200 Russians may be said, if the larger 
estimate is adopted, to be a member of the Communist Party, and only 1 in 800, if 
the more modest estimate of 150,000 members is taken. 

102. It may appear strange that the destinies of a great country should be 
controlled by such a small percentage of its total population. It must be remembered, 
however, that 85 per cent, of the Russian people are peasants who are mostly 
illiterate, and as yet incapable of organised political action, and that they have got 
the land they desired for generations and only wish to be left in peace to work it. 
It has also to be taken into account that complete control is exercised by the Bolshevik 
Government only in towns and in the country along and adjacent to railway lines and 
the great waterways of Russia ; that in districts further removed from these arteries 
their control, though still present, is less effective; and that in areas remote or by 
nature difficult of access the peasants live undisturbed save for the occasional visits 
of Communist propagandists. It must also be recognised that the Communist Party, 
although numerically insignificant in comparison with the population of Russia, is 
undoubtedly the most highly organised political group existing in Russia to-day. Its 
members, drawn principally from the population of the towns, and more especially 
the capital cities of Moscow and Petrograd, are mostly picked men. They are bound 
together by strict party discipline, and taught to believe that a high responsibility 
attaches to them as Communists for the defence and expansion of the revolution, 
whether by arms against internal or external enemies or against the present economic 
disorganisation of Russia, and they are often punished if guilty of delinquency or 
failure more severely than others who are not members of the party. The Communist 
Party were assisted in their efforts to consolidate and extend their power in Russia 
by the fact that the Russian people were demoralised by the European war and the 
initial convulsions of the revolution; that they became utterly exhausted as a result 
of the economic disintegration following the Bolshevik revolution and the outbreak 
of civil war; that the Bolsheviks practised a policy of widespread terror; and that 
the political, administrative and moral bankruptcy of the White Russians gained for 
the Reds the active or tacit support of the majority of the Russian people in the 
civil war. 

The Central Committee of the Communist Party. 

103. Unfortunatelv we have been unable to obtain a list of the members of the 
Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party relating to a period later than 
January 1920, in which month the Official Handbook of Central and Local Institu- 
tions of the Russian Socialist Federative Republic was published. From that book 
the following list, comprising the members of the Central Committee at that time, 
has been taken. We offer the following arrangement of the members mentioned in 
this list according to their political views : — 




M. P. Tomsky. 

V. I. Lenin. 
I. V. Stalin. 
G. V. Zinoviev. 
L. B. Kamenev. 
N. M. Krestinsky.* 
L. D. Trotsky. 
K. V. Radek. 

A. G. Beloborodov. 
K. G. Rakovsky. 
A. I. Muranov. 
M. I. Kalinin. 
P. I. Stuchka. 
G. E. Evdoldmov. 
L. P. Seiebryakov. 

N. I. Bukharin. 
F. E. Dzerzhinsky. 
E. D. Stasova. 


Krestinsky may be more accurately described as Centre inclining towards the Left. 


104. We are informed that the changes which took place in the personnel of the 
Central Committee as the result of the All-Russian Congress of the Russian 
Communist Party held in May 1920 were not important. It would appear, how- 
ever, that Menzhinsky, a member of the " Osoby Otdiel " (Special Department of 
the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission}/* became a member of the Committee 
in the course of 1920, as he was recently stated to be a member of the Political Bureau 
of the Central Committee. 

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party. 

105. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party may be regarded as the 
supreme directing force in the party and of the Soviet Government. In addition to 
Menzhinsky, the members of it are said to be Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev and 
Krestinsky, the last named being also secretary of the Central Committee. 

The Central Staff of Communist Detachments. 

106. Attached to the Central Committee of the Communist Party there is the 
Central Staff of Communist Detachments. This organisation is responsible for 
assembling, despatching and generally controlling the Communist detachments which 
are called upon from time to time to work on tasks of special difficulty and urgency. 
Thus they demonstrate the reality of Communist leadership wherever there is 
important work to be done. These detachments have been utilised in a variety of 
ways : to clear snow from the railways at a time of emergency, to work long hours in 
the railway repair shops on special occasions, to lead workers on occasion when 
extraordinary efforts are being made in the towns and in the country to cope with 
problems of food and fuel supply, &c. 

107. Under the Central Staff of Communist Detachments there is also a depart- 
ment for dealing with the national minorities, that is to say, the non-Russian 
nationalities of Russia. The various sections of this department — Georgian, 
Armenian, Lettish, Lithuanian, Tartar — are charged with carefully following the 
progress of Communist organisations in these areas and with assisting these 
organisations to extend their influence and to disseminate Bolshevik propaganda. 
The activities of the Department of National Minorities among the Georgians, 
Armenians and Tartars of the Caucasus are concentrated in the " Kav-Bureau," or 
Caucasus Bureau. Elena Stasova is intimately associated with the work of the 
department, and has recently been arranging for the support of Communists in 
Georgia with funds and literature. A Georgian, Dumbadze,t and an Armenian, 
Sevastyanov, are said to be two of the most prominent agents working under her in 
the Kav-Bureau. 

108. A Department of National Minorities is said to work in collaboration with 
the various sections of the People's Commissariat of Nationalities. 

109. A Peasants' Section has been organised under the Central Committee, and 
Nevsky was head of this section during 1920. There were proposals to open in 
Moscow a 'Peasants' House," where peasants arriving in Moscow could find 

110. The greatest energy and devotion is shown by some of these Communist 
propagandists who go out to work in the villages. Witnesses have informed us that 
in some cases they have been received with marked hostility, and a witness saw the 
mutilated body of one of them who had been killed by the peasants of a village near 
Smolensk. Owing to the hostility of the peasants towards the towns, and to the 
Soviet Government in particular, but mainly owing to the backwardness of the 
peasantry, the results achieved by these indefatigable propagandists appear to be in 
inverse ratio to the magnitude of their efforts. 

*The functions of the "Osoby Otdiel" of the All-Kussian Extraordinary Commission are to 
combat espionage, military White Guard conspiracies and all forms of counter-revolutionary activity 
in the army, in the war departments and at the front, and to control the administration of all the 
branches of the " Osoby Otdiel " at the front and in the army. 

t Dumbadze is a nephew of General Dumbadze, who formerly occupied a position at the Court 
of the Tsar. Dumbadze was seriously implicated in the army supply scandal with which General 
Sukhomlinov was connected in 1916, and after the first revolution, he was tried and sentenced to 
be exiled to Siberia. After the Bolshevik revolution, he is said to have returned to European 
Russia, and to have been appointed to a responsible post in the Soviet organisation of army supplv 
at Kiev. According to the latest information, he is now a member of the Georgian Soviet at Tiflis. 


The Communist Parti/ and Demobilisation. 

111. The Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party has recently 
begun to prepare for an intensive campaign of propaganda among the soldiers whom 
it is proposed to demobilise from the Red army. According to a Moscow wireless 
message, dated the 5th January, 1921, and signed by Preobrazhensky, a secretary of 
the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, and Litkens, Deputy Chief 
of the Political Education Department attached to the Central Committee, all 
Government Soviets, District Military Committees and Government Political 
Educational Soviets are instructed to take the following measures in connection with 
the demobilisation of Red army soldiers : — 

(1.) To discharge Red army soldiers only after the maximum amount of 
propaganda has been spread among them and they have been supplied 
with propagandist literature. 

(2.) To continue to supply with propagandist literature discharged soldiers 
travelling from their regimental depots to their homes. 

(3.) To mobilise the best party workers in districts where discharged soldiers 
arrive, with a view to continuing Communist propaganda among them, 
and to form in the principal towns of the various Governments 
committees of three, consisting of one representative of the Executive 
Committee of the Government Soviet, a representative of the Political 
Education Department of the Government, and a representative of the 
War Commissariat, to carry out this work of propaganda. 

112. Another wireless message, dated the 5th January, signed by Krestinsky, 
secretary of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian 
Communist Party, directs that all Communists who have been serving the Red army 
shall be withdrawn from their unit and registered at the political administration of 
the War Revolutionary Soviet, with a view to being placed at the disposal of the 
Communist Party Committees for a period not exceeding six months. It would 
appear that most of these Communists will be utilised as propagandists among the 
demobilised soldiers.* 

113. In conclusion attention may be drawn to the predominance in the 
Communist Party to-day of that morbid atmosphere of secrecy and suspicion which 
was a marked characteristic of the activities of the Bolsheviks in pre-revolutionary 
days when the party led, for the most part, an illegal existence. Now, as then, a 
determined effort is made to make the party an extremely powerful, mobile and well- 
disciplined minority, a close Communist caste which aims at leading the masses 
under an iron dictatorship towards a gradual realisation of the Communist ideal. 
So far from trying to increase the membership of the party an attempt, supported by 
the extremists, is being made carefully to purge the party of all unstable and untrust- 
worthy elements. The necessity of aiming at an exclusive Communist caste is 
dictated by the conviction of the leaders that the broadening of the ranks of the party 
would inevitably be followed by ansemia as a result of which true Communism would 
gradually wither away. It is this consideration which has caused the Bolsheviks to 
establish in Russia a Government more centralised than the Government of the Tsar, 
and it is against this centralised and semi-autocratic form of government that the 
tide of inevitable reaction is now beginning to set in. 

Elections and Political Liberty in Soviet Russia. 

114. Articles 14, 15, and 16 of the Constitution of the Russian Socialist Federa- 
tive Soviet Republic are respectively directed to guarantee to the workers real freedom 
for the expression of their views, real freedom of assembly and of association. We 
have endeavoured to ascertain from witnesses, and from documentary evidence, how 
far the rights for which these articles provide are enjoyed by the Russian people. 

* According to our latest- information, it would appear that the partial demobilisation of the 
army is being accompanied by a great increase in desertion, large numbers of soldiers leaving their 
units while awaiting demobilisation orders. 


115. With regard to the exercise of these rights at elections, we quote the 
following examples from the evidence which has been given by our witnesses before 
the committee : — 

1. Mr. A. E. Copping' s Evidence. 

(Mr. Copping proceeded to Kussia as the correspondent of " The Daily Chronicle " towards 
the end of January 1920; he remained there for two months and left Moscow towards the end 
of March.) 

He gives the following description of an election which he attended while in Moscow: — 

" It was an election of one of the Government institutions or one of the Government 
departments; I mean they were constituents. They had to elect a certain number 
of members for the Moscow Soviet — six or ten or some number like that. There 
was a corresponding number of candidates who were Bolsheviks and there was a lesser 
number who were Mensheviks and Independents. They took it in turns on the platform, 
one on each side, to state their views, and the Mensheviks and Independents were quite emphatic 
in what they said. They evidently had a sense of freedom of speech; they were under no fear, 
and they spoke out perfectly freely; and the other side did the same. There seemed to be 
quite as much freedom at that meeting as one would have in a political meeting in the East End 
of London, and the same sort of uproar was going on all the time. The Mensheviks, for instance, 
said: ' It is a shame to treat the middle-class in the way that you are doing; they ought to 
have food and they ought to have votes. ' This was most unpopular, as they 
only represented a minority of the audience, and they were met with cries of 
'Traitor.' 'Traitor to the revolution.' The only point I make is that they had perfect 
freedom to say these things, although they happened to be quite unpopular at that meeting. 
The result of that meeting was that all the Bolsheviks were elected, and not one single one 
on the other side. I was much interested to see how they would take the vote, because in a 
large theatre, consisting of stalls, pit, and three balconies, it looked as though it would be 
extremely difficult short of actual ballot papers. They partitioned the whole audience up into 
sections. For instance, each gallery was cut into three sections; for each section two scrutineers 
were appointed, one representing the Bolsheviks and the other representing the opposition, and 

in each section the counting was taken separately Each section was invited to vote 

separately. From the platform they were distinctly told which section was voting — ' Now, the 
middle of that gallery.' Then in that section hands would be held up for the Bolsheviks and 
for the other side; so that it was perfectly easy for the whole of the audience to check the 
figures. In our section of the gallery I have really forgotten the numbers, but they were very 
disproportionate ; I think there were about a dozen on one side and about thirty-eight on the 
other, and some little question was raised — somebody thought instead of eight it should be ten, 
say, and the vote was taken again. The voting took a long time. When the result of each 
section was arrived at, it was signified by shouting out to the platform, the figures were taken 
down, and afterwards all these results were put together. The impression left on my mind was 
that it was absolutely fair; that the whole thing was straight and correct." 

Mr. Copping's evidence goes to show that freedom of speech was enjoyed by those 
who attended this election and that, in so far as members of the Mensheviks and 
independent political groupings were present, there appears to have been no inter- 
ference, as far as Mr. Copping was able to observe, with the right of association. It 
does not, however, show how far freedom of assembly for party purposes is enjoyed 
by political groups opposed to the Bolsheviks. 

2. Mr. J. Parkinson's Evidence. 

(Mr. Parkinson was Chief Engineer at the Textile Mills of the firm of N. N. Konshin, of 
Serpukhov near Moscow.) 

Mr. Parkinson stated that the Serpukhov Soviet was composed of representatives elected 
from members of the local Soviets or Committees in the factories and representing the various 
districts of the town of Serpukhov. Mensheviks and Communists took part in the elections, but 
the Communists seemed to have shown most bitter hostility to the Mensheviks. The Serpukhov 
Soviet was controlled entirely by Communists. Although in his opinion they did not number 
more than 10 per cent, of those engaged at the mills, he stated that the Communists always 
succeeded in getting their candidates on to the Soviet by fair means or foul. 

3. Mr. J. E. Chamock's Evidence. 

(Mr. Charnock was manager of cotton mills belonging to the firm of Vikul and Savva 
Morozov at Orekhovo Zuevo.) 

Mr. Charnock stated that he had witnessed elections which had taken place at Orekhovo 
Zuevo. The voting at these elections took place by ballot and was compulsory. The electorate 
were instructed to vote for the Communist candidate and threats were made that if thev did 
not do so they would be deprived of their food ration. 

4. Mr. Ralph Wright's Evidence. 

(Mr. Wright was the manager of a textile mill at the town of Egorievsk in the Province of 

Mr. Wright stated that he had been present at the elections to the Egorievsk Soviet and 
"also at elections which had taken place to the Board of the Co-operative Society in Eo- O rievsk 
He said that it was the custom to appoint a president of the Election Assembly who would 

[5631] jt 


read out the list of candidates who were proposed tor election. This list was made up entirely 
of Communists, whoso Dames were taken from some of those who had been members of the 
old Soviet and others who were representatives of the various factory and other Soviets in the 
town. The president of the Election Assembly used to ask those who wished to oppose the 
list and say what their objections were. If anyone did so, however, they were usually imprisoned. 
It was the' general custom Eor the Communists to prolong the speeches of their various candidates, 
as a result of which, most of the audience were tired out and left the Assembly. The Communists 
then took the vote and received a majority. 

5. Mr. Richard Lunn's Evidence. 

(Mr. Lunn was the head of a textile factory which did spinning for the Balashinsky Textile 

Air. Lunn stated that the voting at elections to the Mill Committee in his factory and in 
the district where he worked, took place by show of hands and not by ballot. 

Examples 3 and 4 show that intimidation was practised by the Communists at 
elections and that the right to give free expression of opinion was thereby violated. 
It also appears from example 3 that' elections often took place by ballot, and from 
example 5 they appear sometimes to have taken place by show of hands. The election 
which Mr. Copping describes also seems to have been decided by a vote by show of 
hands. With regard to these different methods of voting, it is to be noted that there 
is no prescription as to the manner in which polling should be conducted in the 
electoral law of the Constitution. It is apparently left to the Electoral Commission, 
of each electoral unit to decide whether voting is to take place by a show of hand? 
or by ballot, or whether a proportional or majority system of voting is to be adopted. 

How Communists turn this to Account. 

116. There is evidence that the Communist Party has turned to account this 
indefiniteness of the Electoral Law, and that proportional representation has been 
adopted where the p'a rTylia d Tea son to anticipate defeat at the hands of non-party 
and Menshevik candidates, and majority representation where it was confident of 
success: — An election to the Soviet of the Food Committee of the Smolensk Province 
(known as the Gubprodkom), which took place, according to the evidence of a 
witness, in the spring of 1920, illustrates this. Five deputies were to be elected to 
represent 1,000 workers. About 280 workers attended the election, and 196 voted 
on a show of hands for the Menshevik candidate and seventy-five for the Bolshevik. 
The President of the Electoral Assembly was about to declare the result, when a 
Communist member of the Electoral Commission informed him that the military 
convoy (Vo-Okhra) of 150 soldiers, attached to the Gubprodkom to guard supplies, 
had been given an opportunity of voting by secret ballot. According to this ballot, 
150 votes had been cast for a Communist candidate. The result of the election was 
therefore declared to be: For the Communists, 75 plus 150, equals 225; and for the 
Mensheviks, 196. On this, great indignation was shown and the meeting was 
dissolved in disorder. On the following day a protest, signed by 500 persons, was 
presented to the Electoral Commission. It pointed out that — 

(1.) As the soldiers were scattered throughout the province several days must 
necessarily elapse in taking a poll among them. The Electoral Commis- 
sion, however, only announced the holding of the election on the day before 
it actually took place. 

(2.) The Menshevik Party had not been informed that such a ballot would take 
place, and were therefore unable to submit their list of candidates to the 

(3.) No representative of the Menshevik Party had been present at the count of 
votes after the ballot. 

The President of the Electoral Commission, however, informed those who pre- 
sented the protest that the election had been confirmed on the previous night and that 
no further action could therefore be taken. 

Red Army Election at Smolensk. 

117. There is also evidence relating to a Red army election which took place in 
the Smolensk Province. On this occasion, a number of Communist canvassers 
toured the army, addressing various units and, at each meeting, read out the names Of 
the Communist candidates for the election. On the following day these names were 
published as those of the candidates elected to the Red army Soviets, and their election 


was duly confirmed. No other party was allowed to address meetings in the army or 
to put forward a list of candidates. The army in the Smolensk district was 50,000 
strong. The elections in the town of Smolensk itself took place in the Nikolaevsky 
barracks, the necessary announcement being made by Prikaz or army order. 

Moscow Elections. 

118. While we are informed that it was not possible for such violations of the 
Electoral Law to take place in Moscow as in the provinces, Government offices and 
factories which had elected non-Communist representatives were liable, on one pretext 
or another, to be placed in an inferior category for receiving rations. In some cases 
arrangements were made by .the Communists that as few electors as possible should 
be present at election, and this practice seems to have been general in other parts of 
Russia. There is evidence, for example, of an election to choose three deputies to 
represent the Glavod or Central Board of Waterways. The election was announced 
to the workers two hours before it was actually to take place and was appointed to 
be held in one of the central halls in Moscow. Half an hour before the meeting 
began the various non-Communist workers came to the hall. A little 
later a telephone message was received at the hall, saying that the 
election had been fixed to take place at another hall which was situated 
in a distant quarter of the city. Many of the workers were tired, and, as no 
tramways were available, they were faced with a long walk. In these circumstances 
the number of the non-Communist workers attending the election was much reduced. 
The Communists who had remained at the factories were given timely information of 
the change and succeeded in reaching the hall. As a result, therefore, the Communist 
candidates were elected. The practice of challenging elections where Menshevik 
representatives were elected and of causing new elections to take place has also been 
reported, and as an example of this the case of the well-known Menshevik leader Dan 
may be quoted. Dan was elected by the workers of the publishing house of Sytin to 
represent them on the Moscow Soviet. The meeting was immediately challenged and 
five new elections took place. As, however, the workers re-elected him on each 
occasion, the Communists are said to have finally acquiesced. In the case of Abramo- 
vitch, whose name has been mentioned above, and who was elected to represent the 
Triokhgorny factory on the Moscow Soviet, the Communists were successful in chal- 
lenging the election as he was not re-elected. 

A Smolensk Election. 

119. A third account of an election, which also took place in the town of 
Smolensk, offers an example of an election among the members of a trade union, for the 
purpose of choosing persons to represent the union on the Smolensk Soviet. As the 
result of the voting, which took place in this instance by show of hands, four non-party 
representatives and one Menshevik, who was not a member of the union, were elected 
to the Smolensk Soviet. The Communists challenged the election on the ground that 
the Menshevik in question was not a member of the union. The Mensheviks main- 
tained that there is no clause in the Electoral Law under the Constitution of the 
Soviet Republic which makes it obligatory for representatives of trade unions ou the 
various Soviets to be members of the particular trade union which they represent. 
An examination of the active and passive Electoral Law, chapter 13, which deals with 
the rights of electing and being elected to the Soviets, enjoyed by the citizens of the 
Soviet Republic, does not bear out the contention of the Communists. There is 
nothing in this chapter or elsewhere in the Constitution which provides for the 
necessity of trade unions being represented by actual members of the unions in which 
elections take place. The Communists, however, were successful in arranging for a 
second meeting to take place for the purpose of holding a new election. The holding 
of this election was only announced to the workers by the Electoral Commission about 
an hour before work ended on the afternoon of the day on which it was appointed to 
take place, and occasion was taken to distribute among the workmen as they passed 
out of the factory free tickets for a Bolshevik cinematograph entertainment. 

120. It was the opinion of the Mensheviks that this distribution of free tickets 
was specially designed by the Communists for the purpose of diverting the workers 
from the election meeting. This meeting, in spite of the manoeuvre, resulted in the 
return of the same candidates. The Communists were not yet satisfied, however, 
and decided to hold a third election, which was attended by a larger body of people 
than had been present at the preceding meeting. The feeling at this meeting ran so 

[5631] F 2 


high in support of the five candidates already elected that the Communists were 
convinced of the hopelessness o\' further protest, and did not put the question to the 
vote a third time. 

Petrograd Elections. 

121. The following passage describes elections to the Petrograd Soviet, which 
took place in December 1919. It has been translated from the journal of the 
Minority of the Social Revolutionary Party, the " Narod," which is published in 
Moscow. According to the article from which the translation was made the Minority 
Social Revolutionaries put forward lists of candidates at only two factories — the 
waggon and locomotive workshops of the Nikolaevsky railway. 

' The elections in the waggon workshops took place on Tuesday, the 23rcl December. 
Comrade Zorin* (member of the Presidium of the Petrograd Soviet, member of the Petrograd 
branch of the Russian Communist Party and one of the right-hand men of Zinoviev, president of 
the Petrograd Soviet and president of the Communist International), made a speech at the 
election meeting on behalf of the Communists, while Comrade Broitman spoke on oehalf of 
the minority of the Social Revolutionary Party. 

' The list of the minority Social Revolutionaries was carried without exception. The 
Communists then decided to dissolve the election. Under cover of the article of the Constitution 
on the right of recalling deputies by a general assembly of the workers, the Communists 
proceeded to agitate that the general assembly of workers in the waggon workshops should 
pronounce as invalid the elections which had taken place. At a second electoral assembly, 
which took place of the 27th December, the Communists brought to the meeting members of 
the Communist Union of Youth and Communists from the locomotive workshops. Neither 
category had any right to vote. The workers demanded their withdrawal, which was achieved 
only after long disputes. After speeches by a number of workers asking that the agitation of 
the Communists should not be upheld, the assembly, by a great majority, pronounced the 
election valid. After the assembly, an agent of the Extraordinary Commission at the factory 
made a report on Comrade Rudakov, member of the Petrograd Organising Bureau of the Minority 
of the Social Revolutionary Party, and on the following day a descent was made upon his 
domicile for the purpose of arresting him. He was not. arrested, however, as he was not at 
home. The wife of Comrade Rudakov was then arrested as a hostage. 

' In the locomotive workshops (Alexandrovsky Engineering Factory) the election took place 
on the 26th December. Comrade Zorin again spoke on behalf of the Communists. The repre- 
sentative of the party in power again made the time-worn attacks against the Social 
Revolutionaries. The representative of the Social Revolutionary Party replied. When Comrade 
Zorin attempted to retort, cries of ' down with him ' were raised among the workers. As in the 
waggon workshops, the list of the minority of the Social Revolutionary Party was passed without 
exception. The Petrograd Social Revolutionary Organisation thus has ten representatives in 
the Petrograd Soviet (Comrades Karasev, Golodkov, Lavrentev, Bystrov, Kavulin, Rodionov, 
Semeniuk, Bochkov and others.)" 

122. The general tenour of the evidence given before us with regard to elections 
and the exercise of political liberties shows that the interference of the Bolsheviks 
with political liberty, which began with the dissolution by force of the Constituent 
Assembly in January 1918, became much greater after the beginning of the civil war 
in the late summer of 1918. It became difficult, and in some cases impossible, for 
parties, whether Socialist or other, who were opposed to the Bolsheviks to continue to 
exist legally. In these circumstances, such political activities as they were able to 
continue had largely to be carried on in secret. 

123. We are informed that a general proscription of their political opponents 
was carried out by the Bolsheviks during the period preceding and immediately 
following the advance of Denikin on Orel, in the early summer of 1919. 

124. In some cases, even during this proscription, political groups opposed to 
the Bolsheviks were able to take advantage of special conditions to continue their 
party existence. This is shown by the following example The Mensheviks, who 
were always strong in the North- Western Provinces of Russia, were able to 
improve their position in Smolensk as the result of a strike which paralysed the 
railways in that area in the summer of 1919. It is said that, the Communists were 
unable to liquidate the strike, and were obliged to approach the Menshevik leaders 
and ask them to use their good offices as intermediaries with the strikers. The 
Menshevik leaders did so, and were accorded in return a certain measure of political 
liberty. But the general persecution went so far at that time that orders are said to 
have been issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party throughout 

* Zorin formerly lived for many years in America and experienced conditions of great poverty 
and hardship. 


Russia, that measures should be taken to expel all Mensheviks and Social Revolu- 
tionary members from the Soviets at all costs. Later, when Denikin's forces had 
been driven back and were in general retreat, this policy of proscription became less 
severe. Another wave of oppression passed over Soviet Russia at the time of the 
attack made by Yudenich on Petrograd in the autumn of 1919. 

125. In January 1920, when it became clear that the armies of Denikin and 
Kolchak were unable to offer further effective resistance to the Bolshevik armies, the 
pressure upon parties opposed to the Bolsheviks began to relax, and the Mensheviks 
and Social Revolutionaries once more — although with great difficulty — managed to 
secure seats on the Soviets in small numbers. With the resumption of hostilities 
between Poland and Soviet Russia in April 1920 another period of persecuticn 
began, and the Extraordinary Commission began to arrest and imprison the repre- 
sentatives of the opposition parties. In this connection the arrest and imprisonment 
of Kefali, a prominent Menshevik leader of the Moscow Printers' Union, together 
with other Menshevik members of the council of that union, is said to have been 
connected with the visit of the British Labour Delegation to Moscow. A letter, one 
of the signatories to which was Kefali, addressed to members of the British delega- 
tion, pointing out the political inequalities existing in Soviet Russia, was intercepted 
by the Bolsheviks and published in the Moscow " Pravda," with certain observations 
by Sosnovsky, a well-known member of the Communist Party. The activities of the 
Mensheviks in the Moscow Printers' Union appear to have occasioned considerable 
alarm and discussion in Communist circles in Moscow, and the Moscow and 
Petrograd papers were full of references to them for some weeks during this time. 
Later, in August, the old Menshevik leader, Dan, was arrested and sent in exile to 
the Province of Vyatka. Dalen* and Troyanovsky, two other well-kno^wn 
Mensheviks, were also arrested and imprisoned in Petrograd about the same time. 
The leader of the Social Revolutionary Party, V. M. Chernov, formerly president of 
the Russian Constituent Assembly in 1917, was persecuted by the Extraordinary 
Commission owing to an outspoken speech delivered by him on his sensational 
appearance at a meeting in Moscow attended by three members of the British Labour 
Delegation. He succeeded, however, in eluding the frequent attempts made to arrest 
him, and in November 1920 he succeeded in escaping abroad. Considerable indigna- 
tion was aroused in Social Revolutionary circles, both in Russia and abroad, by the 
arrest of Mme. Chernov and her daughter as hostages for him. She has, however, 
now been released. 

126. News has also been received recently regarding the confinement for many 
months under revolting conditions in the Yaroslav prison of six prominent members 
of the Social Revolutionary Party : Gotz, Vedenyapin, Goncharov, Morozov, 
Mukhin and Timofeev, all of whom suffered imprisonment and exile under the old 
regime. According to information received by the Menshevik representatives in this 
country, M. Kuchin-Oransky, member of the Kiev Committee of the Russian Social 
Democratic Party, who is said to have served in the Red army at the beginning of the 
war with Poland, has been condemned without trial to forced labour in a concentra- 
tion camp; in Mogilev and Vitebsk, Samara and Smolensk, Mensheviks have been 
arrested, and seventeen are said to have been expelled from the Ukraine by Rakovsky, 
president of the Council of People's Commissaries in the Ukraine Government, and 
sent to the Russian-Georgian frontier. 

127. In connection with this policy of repression, it is contended by the 
Bolsheviks that the civil war against Denikin, Kolchak and Yudenich and the 
hostilities in Northern Europe between the Soviet forces on the one hand and the 
Allied and White Russian forces on the other placed the Soviet Government under 
the necessity of imposing restraints upon political liberty similar to those which 
were imposed in this country under the Defence of the Realm Act for the purpose of 
the safety of the State at a time of national peril. The legality of these repressive 
measures is defended by reference to article 23 of the Constitution of the Soviet 
Republic, which empowers the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic to 
deprive individual persons and groups of rights which they may use to the detriment 
of the Socialist revolution. The provisions of the Defence of the Realm Act, 
however, were such as to impose only temporary restraint upon the liberty of the 

* According to the latest information Dalen, who together with Troyanovsky was subsequent] v 
set at liberty, has succeeded in leaving Eussia, and has arrived in Berlin. 


individual, and the operation of those provisions did not cause more than an 
infinitesimal percentage of the citizens of this country to be deprived of their 
freedom, and then only after their cases had been tried by a properly-constituted 
court, in accordance with the usual judicial procedure. 

128. Finally, we are led to conclude that : — 

(1.) Ruthless suppression of parties and persons opposed to the Bolsheviks 
coincided with the advance of the White Russian forces operating on the 
various fronts, and that, when the immediate danger had passed away, 
moderating influences began to prevail. 

{'2'.) Unrestricted freedom of speech, assembly and association, as provided for 
under the Constitution of the Soviet Republic, are exercised only by 
members of the Communist Party, and then only in so far as Communists 
obey the instructions of the Central Organisations of the party, for 
evidence has been given to us regarding cases where Communists have 
been imprisoned by the Soviet authorities as a result of the criticism 
which they have directed against the Soviet Government in the course of 
exercising the rights accorded to them under the Constitution. 

(3.) The Cadet and other parties to the Right of them have been prevented from 
exercising any political activity, and may be said to have disappeared. 

(4.) The Mensheviks and Social Revolutionary Parties have experienced 
vicissitudes, varying at different times from a complete suppression to a 
sensible curtailment of their political liberties and an effective inter- 
ference in their exercise of them. 

The Extraordinary Commission. 

The Extraordinary Commission, or Chrezvychaika, has played, and still plays, 
such an important role in Soviet Russia that it seems necessary to describe its origin, 
functions and activities in considerable detail. 

The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. — The Extraordinary Commission as the 
Instrument of the Proletarian Dictatorship. 

129. It has been seen that the Marxist school of political thought postulated the 
establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat immediately after the overthrow 
of the capitalist Government by revolutionary means. The dictatorship of the 
proletariat formed the subject of various resolutions at the Congresses of the Russian 
Social Democratic Labour Party, and finds a place in the programme of the party 
accepted by the conference held at London in 1909 and exhibited in appendix VII of 
this report. It does not appear, however, that any precise conceptions were formed 
as to the methods, by which this dictatorship was to be carried out, and it was only 
after the October revolution and the problems with which it confronted the 
Bolsheviks that it became necessary for the latter to define their attitude to it. The 
machinery established by the Soviet Government and associated more than any other 
Soviet institution with the dictatorship of the proletariat is the All-Russian Extra- 
ordinary Commission. The Extraordinary Commission has been mentioned and its 
functions defined in the interim report completed by the Committee in accordance 
with the terms of reference directing it "to enquire into conditions under which 
British subjects were recently imprisoned or detained in Russia." 

No Terror during First Six Months of Bolshevik Rule. 

130. The coup d'Etat of October 1917, as a result of which the Soviet Govern- 
ment was established, by the Bolshevik or Communist Party, was not immediately 
followed by the inauguration of a terrorist policy. Several Ministers of the former 
Provisional Government were, however, arrested and imprisoned under onerous 
conditions in the fortress of Saints Peter and Paul, but were subsequently released 
after a comparatively short period of confinement. On the other hand, several 
persons of military and political reputation were allowed to go their way without 
interference. The case of General Krasnov, who had commanded a detachment of 
Cossack cavalry in support of the Provisional Government against the Bolsheviks, is 
an example of this. He was set at liberty on giving his parole not to take part in the 


future in any operations against the Soviet Government. Later, however, he broke 
his parole and fought against the Bolsheviks in the armies of General Denikin and 
General Yudenich. 

Martial Law Necessary to Re-establish Order in Petrograd. 

131. The state of affairs in Petrograd during the winter of 1917 was deplorable. 
Law and order were hourly set at defiance by the criminal elements of the population, 
whose ranks were swelled by deserters from the army all over Russia and from the 
Petrograd garrison. A series of robberies, often accompanied by violence and some- 
times by murder, took place both by night and by day. The representatives and 
officials of foreign States were not immune from molestation, and the Italian 
Ambassador on one occasion and a secretary of the British Embassy on another were 
robbed in the streets. Additional disorder was caused by attempts to loot the various 
stores of wine which had remained in all parts of the city after the decree had been 
promulgated forbidding the sale and consumption of intoxicating liquor. The 
former machinery for the preservation of public order and the administration of law 
and justice had passed away with the fall of the Provisional Government. Mean- 
while, the Bolsheviks had not evolved, and, indeed, had not as yet had an opportunity 
of evolving so soon after their seizure of power, any system for maintaining public 
order and protecting the lives and property (in so far as they were allowed to retain 
property) of private persons. The institution of the People's Courts did little o^r 
nothing to mitigate the disorder prevailing in Petrograd, and they appear in their 
initial stages to have confined their attention to dealing with the alleged offences of 
their class enemies. The sanctions of the law were temporarily suspended, and there 
was nothing to replace them except the arbitrary and summary methods associated 
with martial law. The city was, indeed, declared on more than one occasion to be in 
a state of siege. In these circumstances, thieves were often shot at sight, and the 
suppression of looting gave rise, more especially in the case of the wine-shops, to 
sanguinary battles in the streets. By these summary measures order was more or less 
restored in Petrograd by the middle of 1918. In Moscow, where severe fighting had 
taken place at the time of the October revolution and where similar crimes were 
common, although less frequent than in Petrograd, order was also re-established in 
the course of 1918. 

132. Throughout this early period, therefore, no calculated policy of terrorism 
can be said to have been practised. In reaching this conclusion we are not unmindful 
of the brutal murders of A. I. Shingarev and F. F. Kokoshkin by sailors and Red 
Guards, who penetrated into the hospital where they were lying sick and shot them 
as they lay in bed. This terrible crime does, however, but illustrate the inability of 
the Soviet authorities, more especially during this first period, to exercise control 
over those for whose actions they, as a Government, were responsible. 

Difficulties of Bolshevik Government owing to — 

(1.) Strike of Government and Bank Officials. 
(2.) Lack of Administrators in Bolshevik Ranks. 

(3.) Expansion of State Control demanding a Proportionate Increase in the 
numbet of Experienced Officials. 

133. We now pass to the events leading up to the institution of the terror The 
ease with which the October revolution was accomplished in Petrograd is to be 
explained rather by the unpopularity of the Provisional Government among those 
who might have been expected to support it against the Bolsheviks than by the 
exertions of the Bolsheviks themselves. Anti-Bolshevik circles in Petrograd 
and other parts of Russia seem to have been inspired with the belief that the 
Bolshevik Government would prove itself no more stable than the Paris Commune of 
1871, and would fall from power as rapidly as it had risen to it. The prevalence of 
this view encouraged various acts of opposition to the Soviet Government. For 
example, a number of officials in the various Ministries and the staffs of the banks 
and other credit institutions in the capital struck work by way of protest against the 
Bolsheviks and the violent means by which they had seized power. This strike of 
the bank staffs was financed by some of the prominent industrial magnates in 
Petrograd. The difficulties of the Bolsheviks in providing for the oarrying^on of the 
Administration were thereby greatly multiplied. At the same time their numerical 


strength was not great, and the number of those among them capable of filling 
administrative posts with efficiency was smaller still. On the other hand, the 
inauguration of a Socialist policy, involving the taking over of the banks and 
factories by the State, caused an expansion of the Administration to limits hitherto 
unknown. In these circumstances the dislocation, inseparable from a change of 
Government achieved by violence, and increased by the revolutionary policy 
inaugurated, became widespread, and the Government found itself in a critical 
position, and fell a prey to apprehension and fear. 

Increased Opposition to the Bolshevik Government after the Brest-Litovsk Peace- 
Terrorist Action by Social Revolutionaries. 

134. The signing of the peace at Brest-Litovsk by the Bolsheviks with the 
Central Powers on the 3rd March stimulated the opposition to the Soviet Government 
throughout the country. It caused a revulsion of feeling against the Bolsheviks 
among the numerous Left Wing of the Social Revolutionary Party, which had 
hitherto been inclined to support the Soviet Government. They immediately set to 
work, and one of the results of their activities was the murder of Count Mirbach. the 
German representative in Moscow, during the summer of 1918. Among the non- 
Socialist circles, on the other hand, hopes rallied round Generals Alexeiev, Kornilov, 
Denikin and Kaledin, who were endeavouring to raise a national army in the South 
of Russia. They also looked to the Allies. With these hopes on their part 
anxiety and fear increased in the Soviet Government. 

Hopes of Allied Intervention. — Beginning of Civil War in Summer of 1918. 

135. As the year 1918 wore on, the anti-Bolshevik armies of Denikin and 
Kolchak began to take form in the south of Russia and Siberia, the Czecho-Slovak 
troops set out on the march to join Kolchak's forces in Siberia, and, in the autumn, 
the intervention of the Allies began. The atmosphere in Moscow, whither the 
Government had removed, became full of plots, or rumours of plots, of mingled 
expectations and disappointments, of alternate hope and despair. 

The Soviet Government under necessity of Organising Military Defence. 

136. The Soviet Government were thus placed under the necessity of defending 
by force of arms the power which they themselves had seized by violence. The 
country was faced with civil war. The old army had melted away. A new one had 
to be created to meet an enemy with whom a large number, if not the majority of the 
Intellectuals within Soviet Russia, sympathised. It was under these" conditions that 
the Bolsheviks instituted a policy of terrorism against their political enemies. The 
instrument of this terrorist policy was the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission. 

137. The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission is nominally a department 
of the People's Commissariat for Home Affairs, and F. E. Dzerzhinsky,* formerly 
a member of the Left Wing of the Polish party of Socialists, is at once People's 
Commissary for Home Affairs and president of the All-Russian Extraordinary 
Commission. The headquarters of the Extraordinary Commission were established 
at Moscow. In every Government of Soviet Russia departments of the Extraordinary 
Commission were set up, nominally subordinate to the central body at Moscow, but 
enjoying a measure of independence, greater or less, according to the distance from 
the Central Government of the areas in which they operated. According to the 
" Official Handbook of Central and Local Institutions of the Russian Socialist 
Federative Soviet Republic," the Cassation Department of the Supreme 
Revolutionary Tribunal " examines complaints and protests with reference to cases 
which have been dealt with in all tribunals of the republic." If, therefore, the 
Extraordinary Commission is included in these tribunals, it would appear that 
persons sentenced by the various branches of the Extraordinary Commission, central 
and local, have a right of appeal to the Cassation Department of the Supreme 
Revolutionary Tribunal. Our evidence, however, leads us to conclude that the 
majority of the sentences pronounced by the Extraordinary Commission were 
promulgated without any opportunity of appeal being afforded to those who were 

* Dzerzhinsky was, until February 1921, also president of the Collegium ol the Moscow 
Extraordinary Commission. According to the most recent information it appears that he has vacated 
this post and has been replaced by Messing. 


138. We offer here the following account of these departments, based on 
information in the " Official Handbook of Central and Local Institutions of the 
Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic " : — 

(1.) The " Osoby Revolutsionny Tribunal," or special Revolutionary Tribunal, is charged with 
" Merciless struggle against wholesale speculation in goods, included in the State 
estimates, against offences committed in the State service against persons accused of 
theft, false pretences, &c." It is stated that the " Osoby Revolutsionny Tribunal" is to 
be guided in its judgment exclusively by the interest of the revolution and is not bound by 
any forms of legal procedure. Its sessions are public. 

(2.) The functions of the "Osoby Otdiel " are to combat "Espionage, Military White Guard 
Conspiracy, and every form of counter-revolutionary activity in the army, in the Central 
Military Departments and at the Front." " It has jurisdiction over all branches of the 
" Osoby Otdiel " at the front and throughout the army. 

139. The " Osoby Otdiel ' ' and its branches, and the part they played. in the army, 
merit special attention, for it is through their activities more than in any other way 
that the Extraordinary Commission came to exercise such enormous power in Russia. 
It will be remembered that from the time of the February revolution until the 
signing of the peace at Brest-Litovsk, an ever-hastening process of dissolution was 
to be observed in the Russian army. The soldiers deserted in thousands, crowding 
the trains from the front, and dispersed throughout the towns and villages of 
Russia. A large number of soldiers, nevertheless, remained with their regiments; 
there they continued to draw rations, to live idly, and to lose whatever element of 
discipline had survived the revolution. The army became little more than a 
work-house of insubordinate and able-bodied persons. Such was the foundation 
upon which an army had to be created capable of opposing effectively the armies of 
Denikin and Kolchak. 

140. It is clear that there could be no question of organising an even tolerably 
efficient military machine until discipline had been restored, and there could be no 
question of doing this without a ruthless exercise of force. 

141. The reorganisation of the army coincided with the establishment of 
Extraordinary Commissions for combatting counter-revolution and sabotage among 
the civil population. And they were soon set up in the army, partly for the purpose 
of keeping watch over the large number of officers of the old army, whose services 
were utilised for drilling and training the new forces, and partly to assist the 
restoration of discipline by punishing desertion and other forms of insubordination. 
As has been mentioned in paragraph 139 above, the " Osoby Otdiel ' ' was the name by 
which the military organisation of the Extraordinary Commission was known. If, 
therefore, it is borne in mind that the Soviet Government maintained armies in the 
field in Siberia, the south of Russia, the Ukraine, on the Polish front, and against the 
Letts and Esthonians and Judenich, consisting of considerably over a million men, 
and that Extraordinary Commissions were active on all these fronts and freely 
enforced the death penalty, the extent of its power becomes easily apparent. 

142. Evidence as to the power and authority possessed by the branches of the 
" Osoby Otdiel " has been given to the committee by — 

(a.) Captain Horrocks of the Middlesex Regiment, who had opportunities of observing the 
functioning of the " Osoby Otdiel " in Siberia. Captain Horrocks stated thai Podlanovsky 
was the head of the " Osoby Otdiel " in Siberia, and that actually, although not nominally, 
he exercised paramount authority in that area. 

(b.) Mr. Hewelcke, His Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at Baku, who 'testified to the considerable 
authority possessed in Baku by Pankratov, who was President of the " Osoby Otdiel " 
of the 11th Bolshevik army. 

143. Continuing our account of the more important departments of the 
Extraordinary Commission — 

(c.) There is also a so-called secret department known as the " Sekretno-Operativny " 

Department, presided over by M. Y. Latsis, and 
(d.) An Inter-Departmental Commission presided over by the Lettish lawyer Stuchka,* who like 

Dzerzhinsky, is a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the 

* Stuchka was president of the Extraordinary Commission at Riga at the time when that city 
■was in the hands of the Bolsheviks, and is said to have acted with great severity and ruthlessness. 

[5631] G 


Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party. Victor Pavlovich Nogm, who 
came to this country as a member of the Russian Trade Delegation in May L920, 
represents the Central Board of the Textile Industry on this Commission. V. A. Avanesov 
represents the Workers' and Peasants' Control upon it. Mantsev, with whom the 
Rev. Mr. North came into contact in Russia, is Assistant to Dzerzhinsky on the Moscow 
Extraordinary Commission. 

.4 r rests. 

144. The evidence given before the committee by British subjects recently 
returned from Russia, with reference to the conditions obtaining in Russian prisons, 
has been summarised- in our interim, report It shows that it was usually the 
practice for the officials of the Extraordinary Commission to arrest prisoners in the 
middle of the night, and that these arrests were often accompanied by violence and 
threats, and sometimes by robbery and confiscation of property. 

Prison Conditions. 

145. Although we have not had an opportunity of making an examination of 
Russian witnesses, similar to that conducted in the case of British subjects, the 
evidence of the latter, who were invariably imprisoned together with Russians, leads 
us to conclude that the treatment accorded to the Russians was worse than that 
meted out to foreigners. Reference to the sections of our interim report, dealing 
with the conditions under which British subjects lived in prison, will do something 
to suggest the nature of the treatment to which Russians themselves were subjected, 
more especially when it is remembered that they were, on the whole, treated worse 

than the British. 

• »\ ■ '• 


146. It is clear that Russians were executed in large numbers, sometimes, 
according to our evidence, in a wholesale manner and on a scale which would suggest 
a far greater total number of victims than is presented by official figures of the 
number of persons shot by the Extraordinary Commissions in the course of 1918-19. 
According to " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front," by Latsis, these figures, 
from January 1918 to the end of July 1919, and embracing twenty Russian 
Provinces, total 8,389 in all. 

Origin, Purpose and Activities of the Extraordinary Commission. 

147. We now proceed to give examples of the activities of the Extraordinary 
Commission derived from official Soviet sources. The origin, purpose 
and - activities of the Extraordinary Commission are set forth in a 
pamphlet entitled, " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front," by M. Y. 
Latsis, who is, as has been seen above, the president of the Secret Department 
of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission in Moscow, a member of its Collegium 
and of the Inter-Departmental Committee attached to it. He was for some time 
president of the Ukraine Extraordinary Commission, and is, therefore, in a position 
to speak with authority upon the work of institutions in which he himself has 
occupied several responsible positions. 

148. In Section I of the pamphlet, Latsis describes the conditions which brought 
the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission into being. He refers to machinery 
set up by the autocracy and the post-revolutionary Provisional Government for the 
purpose of suppressing" sedition, and proceeds to establish what he regarded as the 
necessity for creating a similar instrument under the Workers' and Peasants' 
Government with the object of enforcing the dictatorship of the Proletariat and of 
frustrating the efforts of the dispossessed classes to restore their lost class hegemony. 
He writes : — 

" In order that we might not be beaten, if was necessary to crush the enemy The 

Workers' and Peasants' Government created a special organ the All-Russian Extra- 
ordinary Commission, for combatting counter-revolution, speculation and sabotage. The need 
of this organ was the more acutely felt, as the Soviet Government had no apparatus /for 
spiritual* re-education. The schools remained as before The masses of the people 

* The word " perevospitanie " translated here as " re-education " is difficult to render literally 
into English. It means absorption of fundamentally new ideas. 


were still imbued with the old spirit Hence the necessity of an apparatus for compulsion 

and purification Those must be crushed, who crush us It was necessary to 

anticipate the possible outbreak of counter-revolutionaries in order to preserve tlie lives of our 

comrades and the organisation of the Soviet Government Only pharisees and blockheads 

can deny the necessity for combatting counter-revolution although such denials have been all 

too frequent About two years' work now lies behind the Extraordinary Commissions. 

This work speaks for itself." 

149. We give now certain extracts made from this pamphlet and from No. 1 of 
' The Red Terror," the organ of the Extraordinary Commission for combatting 

counter-revolution on the Czech-Slovak front, published at Kazan. The extracts 
afford an example of the work accomplished by the Extraordinary Commission in 
connection with the seven categories of its activities directed against — 

(a.) Sabotage. 

(b.) Counter-revolutions. 

(c.) Speculation. 

(d.) Crime in the Government service. < . 

(e.) Brigandage. 

(/.) Peasant revolts. 

(g.) Desertion. 

(a.) Sabotage. 

150. Section (3) of " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front " is devoted to 
sabotage. It offers examples of two forms of sabotage. They are : — 

(1.) Striking against the Soviet Government. 

(2.) Ca' canny, i.e., work purposely done inefficiently to the detriment of 
the Soviet Government. 

(1.) Strikes against the Government. 

151. The strike of the bank employees against the Soviet Government 
immediately after the October revolution had taken place is given as an example 
of (1). The activities of the Central Board of the All-Russian Union of Bank 
Employees are described, and it is stated that prominent Petrograd industrialists 
gave financial support to the strike. After stating that the strike funds amounted 
to approximately 2,000,000 roubles, according to documents received by the Extra- 
ordinary Commission, Latsis concludes : — 

" Only by depriving the officials of this material support was it possible, by reacting on 
their stomachs, to compel them to obey the new Government. . . . The officials began to 

(2.) Ca'canny. 
Two examples are given of ca'canny. They are : — 

(a.) On the Railways. 

The railwaymen dispatched food trains from one town to another without bringing them 
to their proper destination. Thus, a food train dispatched from Saratov to starving Petrograd 
made two journeys there and back, and again found itself at Saratov. 

(b.) In the Food Administration. 

1. Agents of the food administration instead of causing the delivery of food at the places 
where it was needed accumulated supplies at points where the enemy could easily get at them 
and take possession of them. 

2. The food militia instead of guarding consignments proceeded themselves to burn goods 
stations, for example, that of Eyazan. 

The section on sabotage concludes " We have shot sabotagers and imprisoned them, but 
notwithstanding this a considerable number of them have succeeded in hiding from us up to 

the present time (1920) and are destroying our food organisations and transport There is 

only one means of ridding ourselves of this poison — to burn it out with a red-hot iron. The 
Extraordinary Commission is doing this." 

(b.) Counter-Revolution . , 

152. Some thirty cases of alleged counter-revolutionary activity are described in 
the course of section (5) of " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front." One of these 
examples refers to the assassination of Uritsky and Volodarsky, and the attempt on 
the life of Lenin, which are attributed to the Right wing of the Social Revolutionary 
Party. Latsis claims that the Extraordinary Commission were aware of decisions 

[5631] G 2 


taken by the Right Social Revolutionaries to commence a policy of terrorism against 
Communists occupying responsible posts. Boris Savinkov, formerly Minister for 
War under the Provisional Government when Kerensky was Prime Minister and 
Filonenko, who was involved in the misunderstanding between Kornilov and 
Kerensky, are mentioned as playing a leading part in planning these terrorist acts. 
Latsis writes : — 

Savinkov himself set to work. The master showed his hand. Volodarsky and Uritsky 
were torn from the ranks of our foremost warriors. He aspired higher. He wished to kill the 
leader of the World Proletariat, Comrade Lenin. But the murderess, the hysterical Kaplam, 
missed her aim. The Extraordinary Commission exacted a heavy toll for these murders. In 
Petrograd alone five hundred persons' were shot in answer to the shots fired at Comrades Lenin 
and Uritsky. 

' Those who dreamed of killing a revolution by the murder of its leaders seriously wounded 
themselves and a whole year passed before the wound dealt them by the proletariat was healed." 

153. Another of the examples of counter-revolutionary activity given by Latsis 
is that of a revolt of Soviet naval forces at the fortress of Krasnaya Gorka. A 
conspiracy alluded to as the Kronstadt conspiracy is mentioned as taking place with 
the object of raising at the same/ time a revolt against the Soviet Government and 
handing over the fortresses to the forces of Yudenich, who were operating against 
the Red army on the north-western front. The officer commanding the 3rd naval 
division, Kulesh Shishkov, described as formerly an officer in the dreadnought 
' Andrei Pervozvanny," and Nekliudov, who commanded the fortress Krasnaya 
Gorka, and the majority of the officers of the Kronstadt garrison, are said to have 
played a leading part in the conspiracy. Apparently the conspirators hoped that 
the crews of the two dreadnoughts "Andrei Pervozvanny " and the " Petropav- 
lovsk " would join them. This did not happen, however, and additional confusion 
was caused by signals being given prematurely for the revolt to take place. Latsis 
states that the " Osoby Otdiel " (Special Department of the All-Russian Extra- 
ordinary Commission) succeeded in bringing to light the principal organisers of the 
revolt and in connecting them with a White Guard organisation, known as the 
National Centre. A description of another conspiracy in which the National Centre 
is said to have been involved is given and a certain Dmitri Nikolaevich Shipov is said 
to have been a leader and to have received money from the Allies, sums being found in 
his possession. A list is given of several persons who were shot for complicity in this 

154. The following figures, taken from the same source, give the number of 
counter-revolutionary organisations discovered during 1918-1919 : — 

Counter- Revolutionary Organisations discovered. 





Black Hundred 

Right Social Revolutionaries 

Left Social Revolutionaries 





(7 m.) 








1 Lfii • • • • • • 




Lower down on the same page it is stated that 1,637 persons were shot for 
counter-revolutionary activities in 1918 and 887 during the first seven months of 1919, 
and that 455 persons were shot for incitement to revolt during the same period of 

(c.) Speculation. 

155. Latsis rather humorously describes the speculator as " a cunning cove." 
He describes speculators as contriving to convey spirits in specially made tins strung 
round their stomachs and thighs, and as concealing cotton and lace in eiderdowns, 
supposedly filled with flock, using the cotton and lace instead of flock. Tobacco, he 
says, they transport in corn sacks and precious stones in boiled eggs. He admits that 


speculation nourishes to such a degree that 60,000,000 roubles change hands daily in 
the Sukharev market. He speaks of the part played by railway workers in specula- 
tion, about which we have had evidence from witnesses. 

" For the furtherance of their dirty dealings the speculators enter into agreement with the 
railway workers, the militia and even the Soviet civil servants. In return for a respectable 
consideration the railwayman will see that these speculated wares are transported quicker than 
soviet wares, whilst the militia man will disppear from his post at the very moment when the 
speculator is carrying off his goods." 

156. According to Latsis the Extraordinary Commission has shot about 100 
persons for speculation, for thefts connected with speculation, 819, throughout the 
whole period of its activity from the beginning of 1918 to September 1919, while 
fines have been imposed to the amount of 127,000,000 roubles, without counting the 
goods recovered which are estimated at thousands of millions of roubles. With 
regard to these figures it is to be remarked that a list of persons shot for various 
offences by the Extraordinary Commission (the figures are said to relate to twenty 
Russian Governments and appear to cover the period from the beginning of 1918 to 
September 1919) is set out on page 75 of the same work. According to these figures 
thirty-nine persons were shot for speculation in 1918, and thirty-two during the first 
seven months of 1919. These figures do not correspond with those mentioned 
previously by Latsis and no explanation is given by him which would account for tb j 
discrepancy. The latter figures are, in any case, so small as to suggest inaccuracy 
having regard to the general tenour of the evidence presented before us. 

157. Evidence with regard to speculation was presented to us by a witness, who 
returned from ftussia in April of this year. He was employed in a co-operative 
organisation in the town of Smolensk, and had occasion to proceed to Moscow three 
or four times a year for the purpose of obtaining certain supplies which he was 
authorised to secure by the local authorities at Smolensk. He stated that speculation 
had become widespread, but that at first efforts had been made to suppress it. It had so 
far continued, however, to develop and flourish, that according to his observations on 
later visits to Moscow it had become a permanent institution. Mrs. Sheridan's 
account in the " Times " of the 26th November, of her visit with Litvinov to the 
Sukharev market confirms this. The Sukharev and other markets which they 
visited were essential as a supplement to the Food Administration of the city. In 
the circumstances, therefore, the officials of the Extraordinary Commission and of 
other Government Departments connived and even directly participated in illicit 
trade. In the words of Mr. Churchill it is a case of " Physician comb thyself." 

(d.) Crime in the Government Service. 

' During 1918, 157 persons and during the first seven months of 1919 more than 109 persons 
were shot for crimes committed by them while employed in the Government's services. 8,818 
persons were proceeded against in all: of these 849 for theft, 391 for treachery, 945 for gross 
neglect of duty, 422 for accepting bribes, and 6,211 for miscellaneous offences." 

159. A statement made by the witness mentioned before throws light on the 
above. Mention has already been made to his evidence with regard to speculation, 
in which he refers to the participation of Government officials in. speculative trade. 
He gave us the following description of methods of transacting business : " If a man 
comes to Moscow authorised to purchase, let us say, for example, a certain quantity of 
paper, he may very well spend six months in Moscow, exhausting in vain all the 
legitimate channels for obtaining it. If, however, he knows the ropes, he would go 
to the proper official and say : ' I want 2,500 poods of paper by to-morrow; 500 are 
yours if you have it ready by noon.' ; This evidence of corrupt practices in the 
Government service is confirmed by Dr. Sokolov, who arrived in England from 
Petrograd in September 1920. 

(e.) Fight against Brigandage. 

' The Extraordinary Commissions deal very simply with such persons (brigands) ; they 
remove them from society once and for all, i.e., shoot them. Now, then ' the last decisive 
battle ' of the proletariat against the old world is taking place, the activities of brigands are 
not to be borne for they enfeeble our fighting capacity and z'ender victory more difficult. Every 


worthless member of society should be rooted up, in order that the whole organism may not 
perish; this is what we are doing with brigands. 

' Throughout the whole period of this activity, 1,450 brigands have been shot by the 
Extraordinary Commissions, and some thousands of the less harmful have been imprisoned." 

(f.) The Operations of the Extraordinary Commissions in the Villages. 

161. Latsis states in his book that during the period January 1918 to September 
1019 the Extraordinary Commissions had to deal with about 340 peasant revolts and 
that 1,050 Soviet workers and 3,057 insurgents were killed in the course of these 
risings. Latsis points out that the risings were the result of incitement by Social 
Revolutionaries and White Guards, and maintains the " fists," or rich peasants, 
supported them, presumably for the purpose of defending their substance, while the 
pooier peasants were either forced to participate in them or were deceived into 
doing so. Latsis continues : ct At the first failure the ' fists ' and leaders flee, and 
the blow falls upon the ' village poor.' The Extraordinary Commission, therefore, 
as a rule, releases the majority of the rioters, and seeks out the leaders and settles 
with them." The following two examples of the activities of the Extraordinary 
Commission in the countryside are taken from the " Red Terror," No. 1, dated the 
1st November, 1918 : — 

(1.) Kurmysh (Province of Simbirsk). 

A description is given of the operations of a column of men with machine guns, under 
the orders of the Central Extraordinary Commission at the front against a body of 500 counter- 
revolutionaries who are said to have fortified themselves strongly in the town of Kurmysh. 
The troops of the Extraordinary Commission succeeded in occupying the town after a hot 
fight lasting sixteen hours. They lost six men and two horses and the enemy thirty-six men. 
Thirty-five supporters of the Soviet Government who had been condemned to death by counter- 
revolutionaries were liberated and 109 White Guards shot by the Extraordinary Commission in 
the course of suppressing the revolt. 

(2.) Vyatka Commission. 

Witnesses have informed us that the peasants of the Vyatka Province have repeatedly 
shown great hostility to the Soviet Government, and, according to the " Red Terror " the Soviet 
Government appear to have found it necessary to establish a special Extraordinary Commission 
in the Vyatka Province. This Commission consisted of twenty-four workers under the command 
of Comrade Putte. The Commission reported that from the 2nd September to the 20th October, 
1918, 136 persons were shot throughout the Vyatka Province. The names of those executed 

are given. 

(g.) The Fight against Desertion. 

162. Latsis in " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front " shows that desertion 
from the Red army during the civil war became so serious that it became necessary 
for the Extraordinary Commissions to devote special attention to dealing with it. 
He states that the soldiers of the Red army began to flee in crowds, that they began 
to organise themselves in bands under the leadership of counter-revolutionaries and 
to raise the standard of revolution in the countryside, and that at the time when he 
wrote (the " Two Years' Struggle on the Home Front " was published in 1920) 
desertion was increasing in the Provinces of Tambov, Smolensk, Orlov, Novgorud, 
Tula and Kazan. Considerable disturbances appeared to have been caused by deser- 
tions in the North- Western Provinces. For example, deserters are said to have 
organised Jewish pogroms in the Province of Gomel and to have terrorised the 
local population in the district of Orsha. It is evident that desertions took place 
mostly during the summer and that deserters usually returned to the army when the 
cold weather began. The desertions increased to such an extent, however, that 
Latsis states that the Extraordinary Commissions were obliged to resort to armed 
force against -deserters and that many deserters had been shot. Up to the 8th 
September, 54,697 deserters had been collected in the Ryazan Province alone and 
despatched to the front, and Latsis claims that desertion was on the decline at the end 
of 1920. Our evidence goes to show that desertion from the army increased after the 
resumption of hostilities between Russia and Poland in April 1920, more especially 
when the Poles succeeded in driving the Russians back from Warsaw. 

Fate of Accused determined by Class. 

163. Having given these examples, derived from Soviet sources, of the activities 
of the Extraordinary Commission, we now propose to offer an indication, also drawn 
from official Soviet sources, as to the method assumed by the officials of the 
Extraordinary Commission in carrying out the duties with- which they were charged. 


The following instructions were issued by M. Y. Latsis, at that time president of 
the Extraordinary Commission, for 'combatting counter-revolution and sabotage and 
speculation on the Czecho-SJovak front, and were published at Kazan in No. 1 of 
" The Red Terror," dated the 1st November, 1918, from which quotations have been 
made above: "'We are no longer waging war against separate individuals, we are 
exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. Do not seek in the dossier of the accused 
for proofs as to whether he opposed the Soviet Government by word or deed. The 
first question that should be put is to what class he belongs, of what extraction, what 
education and profession. These questions should decide the fate of the accused. 
Herein lies the meaning and the essence of the Red Terror." 

The Clergy, 

164. The following extract from " The Red Terror " relates to the clergy : — 

'November 1918. For the attention of Perm, Vyatka, Nizhny-Novogord, Penza, Saratov, 
Cheboksary, Astrakhan and Tsaritsin. 

The most extensive and unbridled agitation of the priesthood against the Soviet Govern- 
ment is to be observed throughout the district behind the front. In towns and villages, which 
from time to time have to be abandoned by the Soviet forces under pressure of White Guards 
and Anglo-French bands, priests play the role of informers, deliver up Soviet workers to the 
torture of the bandits and meet the enemy willingly. 

' In view of this flagrant counter-revolutionary activity among the clergy, I order all 
Extraordinary Commissions operating behind the front, to devote special attention to the clergy, 
to establish careful supervision of them, to shoot each of them, notwithstanding his clerical 
dignity, who dare to oppose the Soviet Government in word or deed. This order to be circulated 
to all ' uiezd ' and ' volost ' Soviets. 

"No. 30. 
" (Signed)- President of the Extraordinary Commission 

" at the Front, 

A Question of A mnesty. 

165. The destruction of the bourgeoisie as a class is again referred to below : — 

(" Eed Terror " No. 1. November 1, 1918.) 

" To all the Extraordinary Commissions at the front. 

" In anticipation of the anniversary of the October revolution, many Soviets have began 
to talk of an amnesty to political offenders. I hereby declare that to decide questions about an 
amnesty is not the task of individual Soviets. It is for the All-Eussian Congress, or its Central 
Executive Committee to do this. 

' There must be no weakening, no discharge of prisoners. The struggle is only now flaming 
up. It must be carried on to the end, the bourgeoisie destroyed as a class and then we can 
speak of amnesty. 

"President: Latsis." 

166. It is clear from the above extracts that the Extraordinary Commission had 
ceased to be an organisation whose functions were confined to defending the Soviet 
Government and revolution against the activities of its enemies. The instructions 
of Latsis to his subordinate officials show that he was determined to make the 
Extraordinary Commission an offensive instrument against the bourgeoisie, and 
that he conceived the efforts of the Extraordinary Commission — as the organisation 
for enforcing the dictatorship of the Proletariat— to be directed to the extermination 
of the bourgeoisie by force. Dzerzhinsky, the president of the Ail-Russian 
Extraordinary Commission, Peters and Bokaev, the president of the Petrograd 
Extraordinary Commission, appeared to share these views. They were supported bv 
Bukharin, who is regarded as expressing in his writings and speeches the views of 
the Communists of the Left. Karl Radek, also a prolific writer and propagandist, 
is said to have leaned towards this group, although it is now suggested that he is 
more moderate. 

167. A perusal of the names of those associated with the All-Russian 
Extraordinary Commission and the Moscow Extraordinary Commission leads us to 
remark that, whereas the names of many of those who were well-known as prominent 
members of the party in former days are to be found as People's Commissaries and 
members of the Presidia and Collegia of other commissariats and institutions 
of the Soviet Government, none of those whose names are mentioned in the list of 
officials of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and the Moscow Extra- 
ordinary Commission (published in the Official Handbook of the Soviet Government) 


appear to have played an active and important part in the history of the Russian 
Social Democratic Labour Party. We do not think that there are any names in the 
list of officials of the Extraordinary Commission given in the Official Handbook of 
the Central and Local Institutions of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet 
Republic, which even remotely compare in past reputation and party influence with 
those of, for example, A. I. Rykov, L. B. Krasin, Semashko, Stalin, Lunacharsky and 
Pokrovsky. Only in the list of members of the Inter-Departmental Committee of 
the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission are there to be found among the 
representatives of other commissariats and departments on that committee names 
which are well-known to any student of the revolutionary movement in Russia. 

168. Now that Soviet Russia is at peace, speculation will arise as to what will 
be the future of the Extraordinary Commissions in Russia. It is clear that in the 
course of the civil war the Extraordinary Commissions and, more especially, the 
military branches of them (" Osoby Otdiel ") have acquired enormous power, and 
the need for the exercise of this power will disappear, or be considerably reduced, 
now that the Soviet Government have decided to demobilise part of the army. 
Attention is, however, ,drawn later to the various schemes for conscripting and 
militarising labour, and -for the militarisation of certain branches of the public 
service, which have either been decided upon or are in course of discussion in "the 
Soviet Government to-day. The speeches of Trotsky support the suggestion that he 
and his followers desire to make the War Commissariat, as a result of its military 
experience, the kernel of the economic organisation of the Soviet Government now 
that peace has come. 

169. It appears to us inevitable that the Extraordinary Commissions will be 
equally essential to the carrying out of the conscription and militarisation of labour 
as they proved themselves to be in carrying out the organisation of the army, and 
in maintaining its discipline during the civil war. In these circumstances, it would 
seem that Trotsky will find himself under the necessity of drawing closer to 
Dzerzhinsky, and that the leaders of economic reconstruction in Russia will tend to 
divide into two camps, namely, that of Trotsky, supported by the War Ministry 
and the Extraordinary Commission, on the one hand, and that of Rykov and his 
supporters on the Supreme Council of People's Economy, on the other.* 

The Controlling Boarder the _" Raboche-Krestyanska / ya > Inspektsiya " (the 

Workers' and Peasants' Control). 

170. Under the Imperial Government in Russia there was a Government 
Department whose duty it was to check, revise and control the work of all other 
Departments, not only financially, as is partially done by His Majesty's Treasury, 
but also in regard to the general conduct of their public duties. This 
Department is in a sense the most powerful of Government Departments, and it 
exists in Soviet Russia to-day under the title of the " Raboche>-Krestyanskaya 
Inspektsiya," the translation of which, " Workers' and Peasants' Control," may be 
rendered more intelligently in English as " The Controlling Board." Its activities, 
although mainly criticaland in that sense destructive, have a direct bearing upon 
constructive work. The Controlling Board was formerly known as the People's 
Commissariat of State Control. Its function it is to supervise, control and actively 
to criticise the work of the various Departments and institutions of the Soviet 
Government. It is clear that the functions of a Ministry of State Control would be 
far more widely extended and its responsibilities increased under a revolutionary 
Government, handicapped by lack of experience and pursuing an advanced Socialist 
policy than in England and France, where no widespread policy of nationalisation 
has taken place, and where the machinery of the State, although greatly extended 
temporarily during the European War of 1914-18, has not been disturbed by revolution. 
It is to be regretted that we have been unable to obtain sufficient information 
regarding the activities of the Controlling Board in Soviet Russia to prepare a 
comprehensive statement of the work which it has accomplished since the Bolshevik 
revolution of October 1917. There is reason to believe, however, that the Board of 

* According to the most recent information, which it has not yet been possible to verify, the 
newly elected All-Kussian Central Executive Committee contains a larger element than formerly 
of militant Communists and of those who are connected with the Extraordinary Commission. 


Control possesses a more efficient organisation than any other of the People's 
Commissariats with the possible exception of the War Ministry and that of the People's 
Commissariat for Ways and Communications. In this respect it is placed in a more 
favourable position than other commissariats, inasmuch as the majority of those 
serving in the central Departments of the Controlling Board at Moscow were formerly 
officials of the Ministry of State Control under the Imperial Russian Government. These 
officials have, therefore, been able to give the Controlling Board much valuable 
experience, and to extend the benefits of that experience to the new elements which 
have been introduced into State Control since the Bolshevik revolution. This 
experience was largely denied to the Bolsheviks in their endeavours to carry on the 
administration of other Government Departments, more especially during the first 
year after their advent to power. We have had access to several copies of the 
' Izvestiya Raboche-Krestyanskoi Inspektsii " ("Bulletin of the Controlling 
Board ") for 1920, and also to an official report upon the Soviet Food Administrations, 
dated December 1919, by A. G. Mashkovich, who is, according to the Handbook of the 
Central and Local Institutions of the R.S.F.S.R., in charge of the Department of 
State Control which supervises the work of the Food organisations. Extracts from 
this report and from the bulletin mentioned above will be found in the economic 
section of the report. They are valuable because they show; that the State Control 
is in the habit of trenchantly criticising the inefficiency and mal-administration 
which may be revealed by its investigations in the various Government Departments. 
Attempts have recently been made to render the work of the Controlling Board more 
effective, and wider powers have been conferred upon it. 

171. During the height of civil war, when it was necessary, to make wide and 
immediate provision for the needs of the army, the Controlling Board found itself in 
a position somewhat similar to that of His Majesty's Treasury during the war. 
A marked tendency arose for military Departments and institutions working in 
connection with the war to enlarge and to emancipate themselves from the control 
of the Department charged with exercising a control over expenditure and a general 
supervision over the activities of Government offices. This was accompanied by 
certain abuses. The recognition of the necessity for investing the Department 
exercising control with supplementary powers appears to have inspired a decree 
of the Ail-Russian Central Executive Committee, dated the 9th April, 1919. Up 
to that time the functions of the Controlling Board were confined to supervision of 
the financial and economic life of the State. By the decree of the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committees however, dated the 9th April, 1919, these functions were 
extended to include the making of investigations regarding (1) the legality of action 
taken in the various Departments, and (2) the speedy and efficient conduct of the 
administration of the State in general. In cases where these investigations revealed 
misconduct or gross negligence on the part of Government officials, the control was 
charged with prosecuting such persons in the Courts.. The Board was also required 
to advance suggestions for the simplification and general improvement of the Soviet 
Administration, as a result of the information which would be derived by its 
representatives in various Departments in the course of their revisionary duties. 

172. Each Department of the Controlling Board is, broadly speaking, identical 
"with the particular People's Commissariat which it is intended to control. For 
example, the Military and Naval Section concerns itself with the work of the War 
Department and the Naval Commissariat, while the Section of Ways and 
Communications is concerned with the People's Commissariat of Railways, the 
Section of Rural Economy with that of the Agricultural Commissariat, &c, while 
the Section of Education and Propaganda is responsible for controlling the activities 
of the People's Commissariats for Foreign Affairs and Nationalities, as well as 
those of the People's Commissariat for Education. 

173. Special interest attaches to the Section of so-called " flying revisions," of 
which Gukovsky, who was subsequently appointed head of the Soviet Economic 
Mission at Reval, was formerly director. The purpose of this Section is to make 
sudden and unexpected visitations to the premises and investigations into the work of 
one or other of the People's Commissariats or Departments of these commissariats, 
with a view to obtaining better information as to the general standard of 
Administrative efficiency prevailing. There was also established, appointed under 
the Controlling Board, a Bureau of Complaints, which is charged with hearing and 
investigating complaints and declarations from Russian citizens against alleged 
illegal actions on the part of Government officials. 

[5631] H 


174. In the spring of 1920 it appeared that the period of civil war was drawing 
to a close, and a movement gained ground still further to strengthen the Controlling 
Board. Considerable feeling had grown up in the Communist Party that a 
determined attempt must be made to arrest the growth of bureaucracy in the 
Government — bureaucracy which, as has been remarked above, tended to become 
irresponsible and uncontrolled during the civil war, and in the case of the 
Commissariat of Food to attain almost incredible limits of incompetence and 

175. This feeling was partly also the beginning of discontent in the lower ranks 
of the Communist Party, not only against the growth of an irresponsible and uncon- 
trolled bureaucracy, but also against the narrow domination exercised over the 
Communist Party by its Central Committee. This discontent became more marked 
in the course of the summer and autumn of 1920, when the events leading up to the 
Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets were touched upon. 

176. A decree accepted by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, dated 
the 7th February, 1920, entitled " A Statute concerning the Controlling Board ' 
was evidently intended to meet the desire which prevailed for the strengthening of 
the Controlling Board and for the participation by the workers and peasants in its 
activities. It is stated in the first paragraph of this decree that — 

The increasing number of economic and administrative problems engaging the attention 
of the Soviet Eepublic, imposed upon the Board of Control by the decree of the 9th April, 
1919, a highly responsible and complex task of supervision and control, with the object of 
assuring the speedy execution of the statutes and decrees of the Soviet Government, in all 
branches of State economics and administration." 

— and further that the task of coping with the economic and adminis- 
trative problems concerning the Soviet Government can only be carried out ' on 
condition of the participation of the broad masses of the workers and peasants in 
the work of State control, which simultaneously creates the possibility of preparing 
and instructing them in the direction of the organisation of the State," and therefore 
the People's Commissariat for State Control has been reconstituted as the Controlling 
Board, and retains as such the rights and obligations .of a Commissariat of the 
People, and a People's Commissary will stand at the head of it. 

177. According to article 3 the functions of the former Controlling Board have 
been extended and the name of the Board changed from that of the People's Commis- 
sariat of State Control to the Workers' and Peasants' Control. 

The Controlling Board has been instructed — 

(a.) To proceed forthwith to reorganise all the organs of the former State Control, attracting to 
this the broad masses of the workers, for the effecting by them of control over all the 
organs of State administration, economic and social organisations. 

(b.) To oppose bureaucratic methods and departmentalism in the Soviet institutions, rendering 
control more effective, by means of flying revisions and the pursuit of investigations into 
all the organs of the Soviet, supervising the execution of all decrees and statutes of the 
Soviet Government, both in the centre and locally, and their suitable adaptation to 
existing conditions, and to verify the activity of all organs of the Soviet Government 
from the standpoint of the results achieved by them. 

(c.) To supervise the organisation in all institutions dealing with all manner of complaints and 
declarations and their proper liquidation, and also the formation of a special Bureau under 
the Controlling Board for receiving statements regarding irregularities, malversations and 
illegal actions of officials. 

(d.) To present for the consideration of the Central and Local Government authorities concrete 
proposals, worked out on a basis of observations and investigations made for simplifying 
the organisation of the Soviet Government, the liquidation of organisations pursuing 
identical objects, uneconomic activity, administrative inefficiency, and upon the 
reformation of the whole system of administration, in one or other departments of the 
State structure. 

(e.) To impose upon the Controlling Board the duty of ascertaining how far the workers and 
peasants participate in the control and with what results, from the standpoint of the 
instruction of the workers arid peasants, in the work of State administration. 

178. To assist it in carrying out these instructions the Controlling Board was 
accorded the right, under the decree, of participating at all conferences and meetings 
of all the People's Commissariats, and their local departments, and of all organs of 
the Soviet Government and social organisations in general, for purposes of revision 
and intelligence, with a consultative voice, and also the right to appoint members of 


the Controlling Board to take an active part in the daily work of all the Soviet institu- 
tions, not excluding People's Commissariats, and, in general, all rights which were 
vested in the organs of the former State Control. 

179. Article 6 of the decree states that anyone enjoying electoral rights under 
the constitution of the R.S.F.S.R. can be a member of the Controlling Board, that 
special attention should be devoted to attracting women to take part in its labours, 
and that no person occupying a responsible position in the administration of enter- 
prises or higher administrative posts should be chosen as a member of the Control. 

180. Under this new decree the Central and Provincial Departments of the 
former Department of State Control continued to exist and those employed have 
continued to receive their remuneration as civil servants. These officials would, it 
appears, form the trained nucleus responsible for initiating the representatives of the 
workers and peasants into the working of the various departments of administration 
elected by the Soviets in the factories and in the country districts. 

The Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

181. In our account of the structure of the Soviet Government it has been shown 
that, nominally, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets is, during its brief sessions, the 
supreme power in Soviet Russia. We give a description in this section of our report 
of the political atmosphere in which the last session was held towards the end of 
December 1920 of some of the speeches made by Bolshevik leaders at the Congress 
and of the decisions at which the Congress arrived. 

The Interval between the Seventh and Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

(1.) War and Events Abroad. — The Soviet Government and the Allies. — Mutual 
Suspicions. — Trade Negotiations. — Attempts to Subsidise the " Daily 
Herald ' with Bolshevik Money. — Retention of British Subjects in Prison 
in Soviet Russia. 

182. At the time when the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets assembled in 
Moscow a year ago, it appeared that the Soviet Government had nothing to fear from 
the armies of Yudenich, Denikin and Kolchak, or from foreign intervention. There 
were hopes that the Soviet Government would no longer be embarrassed by a state of 
war and that economic reconstruction would become possible in Russia on the restora- 
tion of peace. The declaration made by the Supreme Economic Council in Paris on 
the 16th January, 1920, with regard to the resumption of trade relations between 
Russia and Western countries strengthened these hopes, and it was eventually 
arranged that a Russian Trade Delegation should proceed to England to discuss with 
representatives of the Supreme Economic Council the conditions under which com- 
mercial relations between Russia and Europe might be re-established. The course of 
these negotiations was retarded at first by the reluctance of the Soviet Government 
to allow the trade delegation to proceed to England without M. Litvinov. Secondly, 
the renewal of war between Poland and Russia, and the initiation of an offensive by 
General Wrangel against the Bolshevik armies in the Crimea aroused suspicions that 
forces were working against peace both in Russia and in Allied countries. An 
atmosphere of distrust was thus created and reacted unfavourably on the trade 
discussions. The recognition of General Wrangel's administration by the French 
Government increased the doubts of the Bolsheviks as to the good faith of the Allied 
Governments in desiring to resume trade with Russia. Thirdly, the revelation of 
attempts to subsidise a British paper, the " Daily Herald," with Bolshevik money, 
in which M. Litvinov and M. Kamenev were involved, further increased the diffi- 
culty of continuing the trade negotiations, and gave rise to a feeling that the Soviet 
Government would have discouraged any such attempts at propaganda by their 
official representatives had they been sincere in their intention to re-establish commer- 
cial relations and in their frequently expressed desire that Russia should live at 
peace with other people. Fourthly, the necessity for bringing pressure to bear upon the 
Soviet Government to effect the release of British subjects imprisoned in Russia, was 
another cause of delay and also served to shake confidence in the good intentions of the 
Bolshevik Government. 

[5631] H 2 


Trade Difficulties. 

183. It was found possible, however, in the endeavours to arrive at a trade agree- 
ment, to prepare a preamble in July, embodying fundamental conditions, to which the 
British and Soviet Governments agreed. Later, serious difficulties arose in working 
out the final draft of the agreement, owing to the reluctance of the Soviet Govern- 
ment to acknowledge debts due to foreigners in respect of services rendered to Russia 
in the past, and the question as to how far gold and goods despatched by the Soviet 
Government to England and other countries would be immune from seizure by those 
who might claim to attach them in settlement of debts due to them. 

BohJierik Propaganda. 

184. Finally, a deadlock arose, owing to the desire of the British Government to 
introduce into the trade agreement an interpretation of an article in the preamble, 
relating to the undertaking of the Soviet Government to abstain from propaganda 
against the interests of Great Britain. Such was the position with regard to the 
trade agreement when the Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets assembled in 
Moscow on the 23rd December, 1920. Meanwhile the Soviet Government were able, 
during 1920, to conclude peace with Esthonia, Latvia Lithuania and Georgia, to 
sign an armistice with Poland, and to enter into negotiations with Italy. 

Azerbaijan, Bokhara and Armenia. 

185. Other changes which took place between the meetings of the Seventh and 
Eighth Congresses were the establishment of a Soviet form of Government in Azer- 
baijan, Bokhara (in Russian Central Asia) and in Armenia, and, in Europe, the 
decision of the Independent Socialist Party in Germany, and of the Socialist Party 
in France to join the Third International. 

(2.) The Internal Situation in Russia. 

186. It has already been mentioned in paragraph 125 that the overthrow c&~ 
Denikin and Kolchak was followed by the relaxation of the terror and that the 
Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries begun to be elected, although infrequently 
and with great difficulty, to the Soviets in various parts of Russia. A great spirit 
of hope spread abroad that the clouds of war were lifting at last and that brighter 
days would dawn now that peace seemed near at hand. Everyone seems to have felt 
this. A number of Communists — we are inclined to think the majority — welcomed 
with relief the possibility of peace after the civil war, in the course of which the best 
part of Communist idealism had disappeared and a narrow, and ruthless dictatorship 
been established. Those who were opposed to Communism also welcomed the 
approach of peace, because they thought the removal of external pressure and 
the complicated problems of economic reconstruction would cause dissension among 
the Bolsheviks and ultimately bring about their downfall. 

Adverse Influences of Fresh Hostilities with Poland. — Satisfactory Peace between 
Russia and the West made almost Impossible. — Suspicions Strengthened. 

187. The renewal of war between Russia and Poland destroyed these hopes; 
partly despair at disillusionment in their hopes of peace, and partly the traditional 
enmity which has grown up between the Russians and the Poles, were responsible for 
a sudden ebullition of Russian national feeling in what was regarded as a war 
against unprovoked aggression. There is no question but that this renewal of the 
attack upon Russia very considerably strengthened the more extreme and irreconcile- 
able element in the Russian Communist Party, and that it weakened the party of 
pacific reconstruction in a corresponding degree. At the same time, in our opinion, 
the resumption of hostilities between Russia and Poland not only made more difficult 
the paving of the way towards a re-establishment of normal relationships between 
Russia and Western countries, but also did much to confuse and make more complex 
the internal situation in Russia itself. The attack of the Poles was accompanied 
also in the Crimea by offensive action on the part of Wrangel. The Central Group 
of the Communist Party, which look forward to peace from the dual standpoint of 
the strengthening of Russia economically and the precipitation of revolutionary 
events in other countries, received a great accession of power. They claimed that 
the renewal of the Polish war and the resuscitation of Denikin 's forces under 
Wrangel was one more attempt of the reactionary influences at work in Entente 


Cabinets to bring about by force the downfall of the Soviet Government, and they 
were strengthened in their suspicions that the Entente Powers would only contem- 
plate a resumption of trade relations with Russia if they had reason to hope that the 
transition from war to peace would tend to divide the Soviet Government and perhaps 
lead to its destruction. This again opened up the question whether any possibility 
of a durable peace, which there might have been between capitalist countries and a 
Government, which is by its very nature a declared enemy of capitalism, was not 
removed by these events. The Terror began again in Russia, and some of its effects 
are dealt with in paragraphs 125 and 126 of this report. 

Criticism preceding the 8th All-Russian Congress. 

188. It is usual for criticism at meetings and in the press to precede the opening 
of an important State assembly, nor is it remarkable that criticism against the 
Government should be bitter in a country which has fallen into an advanced state of 
economic chaos. The inquisitorial activities of the Extraordinary Commission 
during the last two years in Russia have, however, created an atmosphere of fear in 
which organised public opinion is impossible and criticism of the Government 
difficult and dangerous even for Communists. The fact, therefore, that criticism of 
the Moscow Government's policy is bitter and general and arose in the Communist 
Party in a form sufficiently acute for it to be mentioned in and finally to dominate 
other questions in the Bolshevik press renders it more worthy of careful attention 
than might otherwise have been the case. 

Communists criticise the Council of People's Commissaries and the Central 
Committee of the Russian Communist Party. — Opposition to the Autocratic 

189. Considerable opposition has been manifested among the rank and file 
members of the Communist Party against what is regarded as the unconstitutional 
action of the Council of People's Commissaries in promulgating a number of 
important decrees without submitting them for consideration to the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee, which is, according to the Soviet Constitution, the 
supreme legislative and executive authority in the Soviet Government in the interval 
between the meetings of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. This dissatisfaction 
with the Council of People's Commissaries is part of a very general opposition 
among Communists against the narrow autocratic policy of the Central Committee 
of the party, and more especially of the Political Bureau of Five, which endeavours 
to control the Central Committee and through it the Government of Russia. This 
movement has gained ground in the trade unions. At a meeting of Moscow organisa- 
tions of the Russian Communist Party, held in October 1920, Sapronov,* an old 
Bolshevik trade union worker and a member of the Presidium of the 7th All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee, was among those who attacked Lenin and the Central 
Committee of the party. The general tenor of the speeches made on this occasion 
was that there was no real dictatorship of the workers and peasants in Russia but 
only a dictatorship of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and that the 
economic disorganisation in the country was largely due to the incompetence of a new 
Soviet bureaucracy which had replaced the bureaucracy of the old regime. At 
another meeting held some weeks later, Shlyapnikov, President of the Central 
Committee of the Metal Workers' Trade Union, and formerly People's Commissary 
for Labour, opposed Lenin upon the same subject in a wordy debate. He was 
subsequently sent to Archangel, it is said, in a sort of honourable exile, but has since 

Opposition to Concessions to Foreign Capitalists. 

190. Dissatisfaction has also been expressed by the lower ranks of the party 
against Lenin's policy of offering concessions to foreign capitalists with a view to 
assisting the economic regeneration of Russia. These Communists cannot reconcile 
the granting of such concessions with true Communist policy. It appears to them 
that to lease Russian lands and Russian labour to foreign capitalists is an abandon- 
ment of Communist principles. Communists, both moderate and extreme, have 
protested against this policy, and Bukharin, the leader of the Left Wing of the 
party, has been trying to exploit the misgivings of moderate Communists against 

* Sapronov is said to belong to the Painters' Trade Union. 


concessions and to win them over to his side. Our evidence with regard to stormy 
debates which have taken place at meetings of the Moscow Communist Party is 
confirmed by a report of these meetings in the journal " Kommunisticheskv Trud,' : 
an organ of the Moscow District of the Communist Party and of the Moscow Soviet. 
In this report it is stated that Bukharin took a prominent part in these discussions 
and that Lenin was placed under the necessity of promising to reply to the various 
objections which had been made against the policy of granting concessions to 

RykoD admits Party Crisis. — Bureaucracy in the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy. — Trotsky versus Rykov. — Wholesale Militarisation. 

191. The dissensions which have arisen in the Communist Party were alluded to 
by A. I. Rykov, the president of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. In the 
course of an account of the proceedings of the Moscow Government Soviet reported 
in "Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " for the 24th November, 1920, an attack was made 
upon the supreme council on that occasion by members of the central group of the 
Communist Party, which controls the Soviet Government, on the ground that the 
council had failed to carry out the resolutions of the 9th All-Russian Congress of the 
Communist Party regarding the necessity for attracting the working masses to 
participate in the economic administration of the State. There is reason to believe 
that this attack was made apparently under pressure of the bitter criticism of the 
bureaucracy existing in the Government. The Supreme Council of People's 
Economy, to which is subordinated some thirty glavs and centres of various branches 
of industry, and to which is entrusted the task of co-ordinating the activities of the 
People's Commissariats of Food, Agriculture, Labour, Industry and Finance, has 
undoubtedly fallen a victim to the worst evils of departmentalism, and an increasing 
demand has been made for ' ' a unified economic plan ' ' and for a radical re-organisa- 
tion of the economic institutions of the Republic. In the course of his defence Rykov 
stated that the impoverishment, exhaustion and weariness of the working masses on 
the one side and the extreme inadequacy of the party forces on the economic front on 
the other were fundamental causes of the dissatisfaction which had arisen in the 
Communist Party. They had, in his opinion, created schism and strife in the party 
which has assumed a rather acute form at the present time. A further confirmation 
of these dissensions is contained in "Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn" for the 10th 
December. Reference is here made to an article published by a certain Ardov in the 
" Bulletin of the People's Commissariat for War " that Trotsky is not on good terms 
with the supreme council. Trotsky is also said to entertain a plan for militarising 
the trade unions and to have endeavoured to get this plan sanctioned by the special 
committee appointed to consider the future activities of the trade unions, of which 
Trotsky is himself a member. The compulsory measures contemplated in the 
Agrarian Law and the proposals for militarising the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy and the trade unions suggested that the possibility was not excluded of a 
policy of wholesale militarisation being adopted. 

Opposition to the Agrarian Law. — Compulsion and the Peasantry. — The Food 
Commissariat versus the Commissariat of Agriculture. 

192. The new Agrarian Law proposed by the Soviet Government has also 
aroused hostility, not only in the Communist Party and among the peasantry, but in 
the departments of the Government itself. Dissensions have arisen between the 
People's Commissariat for Agriculture and the People's Commissariat for Food. 
The Agrarian Law has been originated by Osinsky, a member of the Collegium of the 
Peoples' Commissariat for Food and is opposed by Mitrofanov, a member of the 
Collegium of the Agricultural Commissariat. The cardinal purpose of this law is to 
make it obligatory upon the peasant to cultivate a given area of land and to deliver 
to the Government authorities the produce of this area over and above what is 
necessary to support himself and his family. Mitrofanov has pointed out that, as the 
Government are not yet in a position to regulate exchange between town and country 
by giving the peasant manufactured goods and agricultural machinery and 
implements, the peasant has no inducement to resume the cultivation of areas left 
untilled in recent years. In these circumstances, he suggests that the peasants should 
be allowed to give the Government a certain percentage of what they produce and 
allow them to dispose of any surplus as they wish. Osinsky* maintains that to allow 

* According to recent information, Osinsky has been appointed as Assistant-People's Commissary 
for Agriculture. 


them to dispose of any portion of their grain as they like would be to encourage 
speculation, and he prefers, therefore, to rely on compulsory measures for making 
the peasant sow prescribed areas of land and deliver to the Government all but the 
amount considered essential for the needs of himself and those dependent on him. It 
is difficult to see how compulsion can be made effective over a population of 
100,000,000 peasants, and it is clear that the Government will have little or nothing 
to give the peasants unless the resumption of trade relations with the West makes it 
possible to import large quantities of agricultural goods and manufactured wares in 
general use. 

Soviet Government invite Popular Discussion of Proposed Agrarian Law .—Kamenev 
on Bureaucracy . — Trotsky on Concessions. 

193. A fortnight before the opening of the 8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets, 
the Soviet Government published the preliminary draft of the Agrarian Law in 
order to make possible discussions regarding it in the provincial Soviets. It would 
seem that the Government took this important step owing to criticism of the 
unconstitutional actions of the Councils of People's Commissaries, to the demand 
that the workers and peasants should be allowed to participate more widely in the 
work of the Government, and to the strength of the opposition which the agrarian 
proposals had aroused among Communists in the Government itself. Support is lent 
to this view by the speech of Kamenev to the Congress of Moscow Provincial Soviets 
which took place in December a few days before the All-Russian Congress met. He 
emphasised the necessity for delimiting the competence of the Council of People's 
Commissaries and the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and spoke of the 
attraction of the workers and peasants to a fuller participation in the government of 
the country as essential to combatting the growth of bureaucracy. Trotsky, in a 
speech made on the same theme, assured his audience that concessions to foreign 
capitalists were to be regarded as bones cast to imperialist dogs. 

194. Such was the. position of the Soviet Government, both as regards its 
external relations and internal affairs when the 8th All-Russian Congress assembled 
at Moscow on the 23rd December, 1920. 

Supreme Power in the Central Committee of the Communist Party. 

195. In estimating the results of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, 
it must be remembered that important decisions on new and critical 
problems are not taken by the Congress. It is customary for reports 
to be made to the Congress upon the course of events during the 
preceding year at home and abroad and for a general statement to be submitted 
to the Congress on the policy which the Soviet Government intends to pursue during 
the ensuing year. A vote of confidence in the Government is then taken, after which 
the Congress divides up into a series of committees for the purpose of entering 
into a more detailed discussion of the principal measures, by which the Government 
desires to give practical effect to the general policy outlined in the speeches of 
representatives of the Government before the plenary session of the Congress. The 
opportunity for adequate discussion of the past actions of the Government and then- 
proposals for the future may be measured by the fact that in the first place the 
Congress does not last more than eight days and that it is attended by more than 
2,000 delegates; in the second place, the accounts of elections in Soviet Russia, 
given in paragraphs 114-128, and the evidence of our witnesses regarding the political 
activities of the Extraordinary Commissions, support the conclusion that a variety 
of electoral subterfuges and a liberal exercise of arbitrary power are employed by 
the Soviet authorities to ensure the election to the Congress of those who will support 
the Government, or, at all events, not oppose it. It is in the Central Committee 
of the Communist Party, in the Council of Peoples' Commissaries and, to a lesser 
degree, in the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and not 
at the All-Russian Congress, that questions like the resumption of trade relations 
are discussed and decisions taken upon them. There is no question of the 
All-Russian Congress exercising any control over the policy of the Soviet Government 
under such conditions as have existed hitherto. We now pass to the actual events 
of the Congress itself, as far as we have been able to obtain information regarding 


Members of the Congress. Agenda of the All-Russian Congress. 

196. According to a Moscow wireless telegram dated the 21st December, the 
number of the delegates to the Congress who had registered up to that date were 
1,395, o\' whom 1,211 were stated to be Communists, 73 non-party members, and 

1 a member of the Bund Party. " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " for the 24th December, 
states that on the 22nd December there were estimated to be 2,418 delegates to the 
Congress, and that, of these 1,539 Communists, 101 non-party members, and 1 
representative of the Bund Party were present as members having the right of voting. 
702 Communists, 56 non-party members, 5 representatives of the Bund Party, 4 Social 
Democratic Mensheviks, 1 Anarchist-Communist, 1 Anarchist-Universal, 2 Minority 
Social Revolutionaries, 1 member of the Left Social Revolutionary Party and 

2 Communist Sectionalists and 3 others (whose political denomination could not be 
made out owing to its illegible printing in the copy of the paper in our possession) 
were present with a consultative voice only. According to a Moscow wireless 
message dated the 21st December, the agenda of the Congress was as follows : — 

(1.) Reports of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Soviet 

of People's Commissaries on Foreign and home policy. 
(2.) Fundamental tasks for the reorganisation of national economy. 
(3.) Re-establishment of industry. 
(4.) Reorganisation of transport.* 

Lenin's Speech. Foreign Relations. 

(1.) The West. 

197. Lenin began his address to the 8th All-Russian Congress by a short review 
of the foreign relations of the Soviet Government during the past year. He observed 
with satisfaction that the new war with Poland — unprovoked by Russia — had been 
brought to an end, and that the conditions of the peace about to be concluded with 
Poland were more favourable to Soviet Russia, notwithstanding the defeats sustained 
by the Red army near Warsaw, than those proposed to Poland by the Soviet Govern- 
ment in April 1920. He warned his audience of the possibilities of a new war and 
of the resuscitation of Wr angel's army as the instrument of a new military attack 
upon Soviet Russia. With regard to other wars, peace has been concluded with a 
number of States which formerly existed as part of the Russian Empire. The 
relations between the Soviet Government and these States were improving steadily, 
and differences of opinion which had arisen with the Latvian Government were being 

(2.) The East. 

198. Turning to the East, Lenin welcomed the establishment of Soviet Republics 
in Bokhara, Azerbaijan and Armenia, as showing that the Soviet system was 
acceptable not only in industrial countries, but also in agricultural lands. It was 
hoped that a treaty would shortly be signed with Persia, Relations were being 
cemented between the Soviet Government and Afghanistan and Turkey. With 
regard to the latter country, the Entente had done everything in their power to render 
relations between Turkey and Western Europe impossible, and had created the 
possibility of a rapprochement between Turkey and Soviet Russia. 

The Trade Negotiations with England. 

199. The conclusion of a trade agreement with Great Britain had been retarded 
by conflicting currents of opinion in the British Government itself, but the desire for 
peace with Russia had led to the establishment of Soviets of action by British 
workers. The longer the conclusion of the trade agreement was postponed the more 
acute would become the present financial crisis in England. 

Defends Policy of Concessions. 

200. In connection with the trade agreement, Lenin defended the policy of 
granting concessions to foreign capitalists. It would be ridiculous to talk of 
Russia's economic independence while the Soviet Republic remain a backward 
country. He welcomed the criticismof certain peasants that concessions were a 

*It is interesting to note that the trade union question, which had already become acute, does 
not appear on the Agenda of the Congress. 


capitulation before the capitalist world ; it showed they were imbued with Socialist 
thought. The granting of concessions had, however, been carefully thought out; 
guarantees would be demanded from those who received them, and it was essential 
that everything should be done to promote trade relations without delay. 

Compulsion plus Moral Suasion on Workers and Peasants Essential to Economic 

201. He reminded his audience that a long series of wars had hitherto decided 
the fate of revolutions. They had completed one chapter of war. They must 
prepare for the next chapter. Without economic restoration they would be unable 
to hold their own in it. It was therefore essential that the workers and peasants, 
and more especially the peasants, should co-operate whole-heartedly to improve 
production, and a widespread propaganda should be begun to that end. To achieve 
these economic aims it would be necessary to unite compulsion with moral suasion 
as successfully as they had done in the Red army. Compulsory measures did not 
frighten the masses of workers and peasants who saw in them their support ; while 
Soviet propaganda, so successful during the war, must show them that they would 
be unable to escape from the " precipice of economic breakdown," on the edge of 
which they now found themselves, without establishing new forms of State unity. 

The Agrarian Law. 

202. With regard to the Agrarian Law, devoted to strengthening agricultural 
productivity, he said that Russia was a State of small farmers, and that the 
transition to Communism had faced them w T ith difficulties greater than would have 
arisen in other conditions. In the attainment of their economic objectives, the 
assistance of the peasants was ten times more necessary than it had been during the 
war. The peasants were not Socialists. There was, therefore, more reason for 
union among the Communist workers. ' They must tell the peasants that it was 
impossible to continue freezing and dying of starvation indefinitely." If such 
conditions continued they would be broken in the next chapter of war. There must 
be a larger area of land under cultivation next spring, and there was no hope of 
salvation unless this economic victory was obtained. They recognised their 
obligation to the peasants. They had taken their bread in exchange for paper 
money. They would compensate them as soon as industry was restored, but for that 
purpose a surplus of agricultural products was essential. The food position was, 
however, better, and the statistics showed that four times (200 million poods) the 
amount of food had been produced in the third year of the revolution than in the 
first (50 million poods). 300 millions were, however, necessary if the food position 
was to be completely restored. Without this there could be no talk of economic 
restoration or of the electrification of Russia. 

Transport and Electrification. 

203. With regard to transport, decree No. 1042 provided for its restoration 
within five years. Great attention would have to be paid to fuel and resources of 
peat exploited to replenish supplies. He drew attention to the report of the 
State Commission for Electrification. He regarded electrification as the economic 
part of their party programme. In future, engineers and agricultural experts 
would be members of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets as well as politicians. 
The danger which Russia presents to the capitalist world depends on the improve- 
ment of her economic life. As long as she remains a small farmer country capitalism 
would find more favourable acceptance than Communism. The foundation and 
basis of their interior enemy (capitalism) has not been removed. Electrification 
would help them to move it. Therefore he stated Communism to be the Soviet 
power plus electrification of the whole country. 

Ryhov's Theses. 

204. According to a Moscow wireless message, dated the 23rd December, 1920, 
A. I. Rykov, President of the Supreme Council of People's Economy, presented to 
the Congress a series of theses on the means of re-establishing industry. He 
recommended the following measures : — 

Guarantee Food and Clothing to Workers. 

(1.) Systematic and, as far as possible, complete supply of workmen engaged in industry with 
clothing and food, making use, when necessity arises, of the stores and the supply- 
organisations formerly used for the Eed army. 
[5631] I 



(2.) Improvement of liousiug and conditions of life for workmen. 

Return Skilled Men front Army to Factories. 

(3.) Immediate return of skilled workmen from demobilised detachments of the Bed army and 
distribution of these workmen among factories, works and mines in accordance witb 
industrial plans. 

Labour Battalions. 

(4.) Utilisation of military detachments and military organisations for carrying out economic 
work under the direct orders of economic organisations. 

Technical Education. 

(5.) Further development of professional education and training of engineers and technical and 
skilled workers. Special efforts must be exerted to organise special educational 
establishments for workmen. 

Labour Conscription of Unskilled Labour. 

(6.) The utilisation of unskilled labour must in future be carried out by means of labour 
conscription and labour mobilisation, for which it is first of all necessary -to make use 
of all workers in towns and villages, who are not engaged in productive labour. 

Increased Productivity of Labour. 

(7.) Measures must be taken for increasing the output of labour. The abolition of unauthorised 
absence from work is one of the first conditions of normal work in factories. 


(8.) A great part in the work of increasing and intensifying labour must be played by industrial 
propaganda, which must be directed by the best forces of the trade unions, and the 
economic organisations. 

Improved Technical Equipment. 

205. Rykov also emphasised the necessity for the improvement of the technical 
resources of the Republic and of utilising scientific means of cultivation and artificial 
manure in agriculture, and of extending the use of motor tractors and electric 
ploughs. He concluded bv stating that the economic programme of the Republic 
must be directed ;to the further reorganisation of railways, transport, mining, 
metallurgy, construction of machinery, and the organisation of stores of foodstuffs, 
fuel and raw materials. 

206. The theses of Rykov differ in little from the recommendations made at the 
7th All-Russian Congress of Soviets which took place a year ago. 

207. Rykov made the following comparisons between the economic conditions 
existing in 1919 and 1920 :— 

t f 1919 (August-October) .. 57,576,000 poods of food made available. 

1- \1920.. .. .. 140,652,000 „ „ 

„ J1919 .-'. .. .. 7,155,000 cubic sazhens of wood consumed. 

l ' \ 1920 (10 months) .. 11,183,000 ., „ „ 

# J1919 .. .. .. 36,881,000 poods of coal produced. 

6 - \ 1920 (10 months) .. 341,232,000 „ ,. 

J1919 . .. .. 67,100,000 „ of peat obtained. 

4 - \1920 .. .. .. 82,300,000 


1919 .. .. .. 15,183 waggon loads per month transported by rail, 

1920.. .. .. 24,926 

Technical Assistance from Abroad. 

208. Rykov referred in his theses to " the attraction of technical means and 
forces from other countries for the development of the productive forces in Soviet 
Russia, to enable us to begin the exploitation of the vast and deserted areas of 
ISlorthern and Eastern Russia, and to erect in the area of the Republic of Soviets, 
enterprises for which we must have the highly technical skill of Western Europe and 

Trotsky on Standard Locomotives and Machinery. 

209. Trotsky's speech in the Congress emphasised the importance of standardisa- 
tion, not only of locomotives but of machinery in general. He describes standardisa- 

* Principally due to the recovery of the Donetz basin by Soviet Russia. 


tion as socialism in technical matters. During the second half of 1921 they might 
expect to receive from abroad about a thousand locomotives of the best type. Trans- 
port on the Russian railways had improved, and for twelve trucks on every hundred 
versts in 1920 there were twenty-three in September. The increase thus amounted 
to 90 per cent. The tasks of transport which confronted the Supreme Council of 
Transport — the inter-departmental organisation for transport — were carried out 
on an average in full, and if a decrease in transport had taken place in July and 
August, this was owing to the fault of the People's Commissariat for Food and the 
Supreme Council of People's Economy, which did not bring up their freights in time. 
With a view to facilitating the systematic use of railways a plan for the utilisation of 
the railways in 1921 had been based upon the potentiality of each engine available 
for running. It was estimated by the People's Commissariat for Ways and Com- 
munications that the railway services were in a position to accomplish 4,600,000,000 
versts during the coming year. In 1920 the railways had accomplished only 
2,200,000,000 versts. 

Water Transport and Railways. 

210. Turning to the question of water transport, Trotsky stated that the posi- 
tion of water transport, notwithstanding the importance it represented in the life 
of the country, was more unsatisfactory than railway transport.* Before the war, 
2,200,000,000 poods were carried by water and 2,700,000,000 by rail. The Soviet 
had, however, received only 40 to 50 per cent, shipping from the old regime and had 
been handicapped by their ignorance of administration. The first necessity was to 
adapt to the administration of the waterways the methods which they had adopted 
with a view to restoring the railways. He claimed that the introduction of centralisa- 
tion had already given satisfactory results and that 583,000,000 poods of cargo had 
been conveyed by water in 1920 compared with 341,000,000 poods in 1919, and, if the 
distances covered were taken into consideration, the results achieved in 1920 were 
two or three times greater than those achieved in 1919. He regarded the transport 
of 160,000,000 poods of crude oil from Azerbaijan as one of their greatest economic 
successes. He paid tribute to the work accomplished by the Chief Railway Political 
Department superintending the reorganisation of transport. Now that the position 
as regards transport has been improved theHailway Political Department! was being 
handed over to the Railwaymen's Trade Union, which would be responsible for 
developing the work of the department in future. Attention had been drawn to the 
unfavourable conditions of life of the railwaymen. During the coming year special 
provision must be made for remedying this. During the present winter, if the 
railway lines were blocked with snow, they proposed to call upon the peasants to 
clear them. They would say to the peasants : " It is hard for you, but you must clear 
the railway lines; you are only lending to Communism what it will return to you. 
Communism will liberate you from serfdom, will make you free in your land and your 
village and will educate you, and you will realise that you are not only a citizen in 
your ' volost,' but a Tzar in your country and the master of creation." 

Zinoviev's Speech against Bureaucracy. 

211. Zinoviev's speech to the Congress was principally devoted to the necessity 
of combatting bureaucracy and, contrary to expectation, to the Trade Union question. 
He pointed out that to fight bureaucracy means to fight economic chaos and misery, to 
raise the efficiency of labour, and the level of the people's culture, to get back from 
military institutions the necessary workers, to attract more workers to participate 
in the activities of the Central Government, to perfect and simplify the economic 
administration of the Soviet Republic, and to give new life to the local Soviets. He 
said that the Soviels must be assemblies where the working classes are taught simul- 
taneously to make the law and to obey the laws which they have made. It was 
essential that the Soviets should be elected regularly, and that the members of the 
Soviets and their Executive Committees should be elected in accordance with the 
prescribed rules. Any Executive Committee which failed without sufficient reason 

* Water transport is under the administration of the " Glavod " or Central Board of Waterways, 
a department of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 

f Department established for the purpose of intensive propaganda on the railways directed to 
the improvement of transport. 

[5631] 12 


to call at least one meeting of the Soviet a month should be deprived of its rights, and 
limned iately be re-elected, and the same should occur in the case of the Presidium of 
an Executive Committee which tailed to summon meetings of the committee regularly. 

Soriet Government 's Impaired Claim to Represent Russian People. 

212. It is interesting to mark the views of Zinoviev upon the functions of the 
trade unions and to compare them with those of Trotsky. Zinoviev informed the 
Congress that the Soviets must not in any case replace the trade unions, which should 
be made the main-springs of the economic life of the country. The revival of activity 
in the trade unions and the growth of their influence in the domain of national 
economy, the collaboration of the Soviets and trade unions for the raising of national 
efficiency, is the best means of combatting bureaucracy. It is evident from Zinoviev's 
speech that the Soviet Government was in grave need of reformation* and that, 
in so far as meetings of Soviets are not held and elections to them do not take place, 
the claim of the Soviet Government, to represent the workers and peasants of Kussia 
is an empty one. 

Decisions taken by the Congress. 

213. As far as we have been able to obtain information, the following decisions 
among others were taken by the Congress : — ■ 

(1.) That all decrees regarding the general regulation of the political and economic life of the 
country and all decrees which might change in any important principle the present 
programme of work of the People's Commissariats or other institutions of the Soviet 
Government must be examined by the All-Kussian Central Executive Committee. 

(2.) That drafts of all decrees and orders proposed concerning questions of political and economic 
importance and also the more important decisions which it is proposed to take regarding 
military matters, &c, must be published by the Presidium of 'the All-Kussian Central 
Executive Committee at least two weeks before the Plenary Session of the All-Bussian 
Central Executive Committee in order 'that the provincial Soviets may be afforded an 
opportunity to discuss these proposals before a final decision has been taken upon them. 

(3.) That the Presidium of the All-Kussian Central Executive Committee should be accorded 
authority to revoke decisions of the Council of People's Commissaries. 

(4.) That the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee should decide all 
conflicts or disagreements arising between the People's Commissariats and other central 
institutions of the Soviet Republic on the one hand, and the local Executive Committee 
and other local institutions on the other. 

(5.) That all decrees and regulations of high State importance and requiring immediate decision, 
including decisions relating to war and foreign policy, must be submitted for consideration 
to, and are subject to ratification by, the Council of People's Commissaries. 

(6.) That the All-Russian Central Executive Committee should extend and develop its control 
over the activities of the various departments of the Soviet Government and over the 
local Soviets, and should examine regularly the reports of the People's Commissariat 
and establish a special Commission for the purpose of conducting investigations into the 
work of the People's Commissariats and of the provincial Executive Committees and 
local institutions of the Soviet Government. 

(7.) That the All-Russian Central Executive Committee in conjunction with the Council of 
People's Commissaries should conduct a bi-monthly investigation of the administrative 
personnel in the various Commissariats and other central institutions of the Soviet 
Government, and should also prepare a list of persons whose ability recommended them 
as suitable for utilisation in an executive capacity in the Government. 

(8.) That the All-Russian Central Executive Committee should henceforward consist of 300 
instead of 200 members, and that the sessions of the Committee should be held not less 
than twice a month. 

(9.) That a partial demobilisation of the army should take place. 

* The following is contained in a Petrograd wireless message dated the 6th February : Circular 
issued by the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee concerning regular 
re-election of Soviets and the convocation of the Congresses of Soviets at regular intervals: "The 
cruel civil war demanded the greater part of the best Soviet workers for the front and rendered it 
necessary that the work of the civil Soviet organisations should be under the control of the Executive 
Committees of the Soviets and Congresses, and especially of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee and of the Supreme Revolutionary Soviet. With the cessation of military 
operations on all fronts of the republic we enter the paths of peaceful reconstruction. It is imperative 
that the working masses should be induced to take part in creative work for their participation 
means the beginning of constitutional rule. Having regard to the transition towards a new phase 
of our life, the Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets has decided to carry out periodical revisions 
in the village, volost, municipal and other Soviets at an appointed time, and also to convene 
Congresses of Soviets, i.e., to carry out re-elections to Municipal and Village Soviets in accordance 
with article 57, clause (h) of the Constitution," 


(10.) That the competence of the Council of Labour and Defence, which hitherto has devoted 
its attention to military purposes, should be reconstituted for the purpose of adapting 
its energies to the peaceful work of economic reconstruction. 

(a.) The Council of Labour and Defence should function as a Commission of the Council 

of People's Commissaries, 
(b.) The Council of Labour and Defence should be composed of — 

1. The President of the Council of People's Commissaries, as President of the 

Council of Labour and Defence. 

2. The People's Commissary for War. 

3. The President of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 

4. The People's Commissary for Labour. 

5. The People's Commissary for Ways and Communications. 

6. The People's Commissary for Food. 

7. The People's Commissary for Agriculture. 

8. The People's Commissary for the Workers' and Peasants' Control. 

9. A representative of the All-Kussian Soviet of Trade Unions. 

(c.) The Council of Labour and Defence is charged with the control of the whole economic 

life of the country and with elaborating and supervising the execution of a unified 

plan of economic administration. 
(d.) All departments and institutions of the Soviet Governments are subordinate to the 

Council of Labour and Defence and will comply with orders received from it. 
(e.) The All-Kussian Central Executive Committee retains the right to cancel decisions 

of the Council of Labour and Defence. 

(11.) That the All-Kussian Central Executive Committee should carry out the proposals for the 
electrification of Russia on the lines contemplated in the Report made by Engineer 

(12.) That with regard to transport: — 

1. Rail and water transport should be united under a single administration. 

2. That a standard type of locomotive and rolling-stock should be adopted for the purpose 

of facilitating construction and repairs. 

3. That additional efforts should be made to provide for the repair of locomotives and 

rolling-stock and to arrest the deterioration of locomotives, rolling-stock and 
permanent way. 

4. That everything should be done to improve the standard of life of the railway 


(13.) That the peasants should be supplied with seeds and agricultural machinery. 

(14.) That supplies of raw materials, manufactured goods, fuel, food and clothing should be 
concentrated from reserves in the hands of the Central Government and in the provinces, 
and be placed at the disposal of the Provincial Soviets or Councils of People's Economy 
for distribution to the workers in industry as a premium for extra work. 

214. The remaining sections of our report on political conditions deal with : — 

(1.) Trade unions, the treatment of which in a Socialist State is a subject of 
special interest to all other countries where such organisations exist. The 
subject derives additional importance from the fact that in Russia contro- 
versies on their proper place and functions in the Soviet State are one ol 
the chief causes of the present crisis in the Communist Party. 

(2.) The peasants, who form at least four-fifths of the population of Russia, and 
who are likely to play a decisive part in her future. 

In addition we have added short notes on foreign affairs, education, religion 
and law and justice. 

The Trade Unions in Soviet Russia. 

The Russian Trade Union Movement. — Persecution of the Trade Unions under the 

215. The trade union movement began in Western Europe when workers in a 
particular trade began to form associations for the purpose of protecting their own 
interests against their employers and trying to better their own conditions of life. 
At first these unions were purely economic bodies ; later, with the growth of socialist 
thought and the attention paid by socialists to industry and the industrial worker, 

*Krzhanovsky was a member of the Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour 
Party before the war, and at one time a member of its Central Committee. 


the aims of the trade unions tended to become partly political as well as economic, 
ami in the case of certain unions politics exercised a greater influence than economics, 
in Russia, the policy of the autocracy, which helped largely to create the most narrow 
and extreme form of socialist thought in Europe, made impossible the organisation 
of trade unions except illegally and in secret ways. The Russian trade union move- 
ment was therefore driven from the first days of its illegal and persecuted existence 
to make common cause with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and was 
thus inevitably identified with the principal political aim of that party — the revolu- 
tionary overthrow of the autocracy. 

Reference to Russian Social Democratic Labour Party Programme. Appendix VII. 

216. A reference to the translation of the programme of the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party, elaborated at the conference of the party held in London 
in 1919, will show how closely the party endeavoured to identify its aims with those 
of the industrial worker. 

217. A great development of the trade unions followed the Russian revolution of 
February 1917. The same confusion and lack of any directing and co-ordinating 
organisation characterised this development as in the case of the Soviets of Workers', 
Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, which sprang up in circumstances related in 
paragraphs 47 to 52. 

Confusion between Tirade Unions and Factory Soviets after the Revolution of 
February 1917. 

218. In the case of the trade unions, however, confusion became worse con- 
founded, because the Soviets in the factories largely usurped and duplicated their 
activities, and threatened to develop as entirely independent bodies. It was not 
until the First All-Russian Trade Union Congress assembled in January 1918 (after 
the October revolution) that it was finally decided that the factory committees should 
be subordinated to the trade unions. 

Bolshevik Efforts to Capture the Trade Unions. 

219. The campaign begun during the summer of 1917 by the Bolshevik group of 
the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to capture the majority of the Soviets 
all over Russia, was accompanied by a similar campaign to win over the trade unions 
to Bolshevism. The Third Trade Union Conference, which took place on the 20th 
June, 1917, at Petrograd, was divided into a Right wing — including the Mensheviks, 
Social Revolutionaries, and the representatives of the Jewish " Bund," which sup- 
ported the Government, and a Left wing, led by the Bolsheviks, which attacked the 
Government, and advocated the cessation of the war, the workers 1 control of industry, 
and the destruction of the coalition between the Socialists and the bourgeoisie. 

Extension of Bolshevik Influence in Industrial Areas. 

220. The conference ended in favour of the Moderates, but as the summer wore 
on the Bolsheviks began to extend their influence among the leather workers of the 
Moscow Government, the miners of the Don Basin, and the textile workers of 
Ivanovo-Voznesensk. The unsuccessful attempt of Kornilov to march on Petrograd 
against the Provisional Government had the effect of increasing the discontent in the 
trade unions against the Government. This is shown by A. Lozovsky in his book 
" Trade Unions in Soviet Russia " as follows : — 

(1.) The Petrograd Council of Trade Unions asserted that the Provisional Government were 

" sacrificing the interests of peace and of the masses to the allied and Russian 

Imperialists " and demanded the establishment of a special Committee for the defence 

of Petrograd against counter revolution. 
(2.) The Moscow metal-workers declared that there were " no separate conflicts of metal-workers, 

textile workers, and leather workers, there is only one great national conflict between 

labour and capital." 
(3.) The All-Russian Conference of Textile Workers, which took place in September promised 
' the fullest support to the Soviets in their struggle for power, for only such power 

can save the country from economic and political ruin and improve the position of the 

working class." 


The Democratic Convention, 1917. 

221. The trend in the trade unions towards the Left was clearly marked at the 
Democratic Convention which took place at Petrograd in September. Nine-tenths 
of the trade union delegates, representing 1,893,100 workers, were opposed to the 
Provisional Government, and seventy out of 117 delegates were said to belong to the 
Bblshevik Party. 

The Trade Unions' Part in the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. 

222. The trade unions played an important part in the October revolution. With 
the exception of the associations of commercial and bank employees, the printers' 
union, the higher-grade employees of the railway union, and the postal and telegraph 
workers, the .Russian trade unions supported the October revolution, and armed 
detachments of trade unionists were formed to oppose the Government and to protect 
the factories. • 

After the October Revolution. 

223. Immediately after the October revolution a question of supreme importance 
for the future of the trade unions in Russia arose. This question was : What were 
to be the functions of the trade unions in a Socialist State ? It arose in connection 
with the action taken by the Bank Employees' Union, which, supported financially 
by some of the employers, struck work against the newl} established Soviet 
Government. It is a question which, notwithstanding its importance, has not yet 
been finally decided in Russia at the present time. 

224. Lozovsky represents the official Bolshevik attitude to the strike of the 
Bank Employees' Union in his pamphlet on the growth and development of the trade 
union movement of Russia. He asks how, in a country like Russia, where the 
Socialist revolution has taken place, there can be any room for strike funds, strikes 
and other weapons and methods of the class struggle employed by the proletariat 
against their class enemies. He states that the Russian trade unions have been led 
b} experience to decide that — 

(1.) To strike against the bourgeoisie is the sacred right of the proletariat in their struggle 
against the exploiter. 

(2.) To strike against the workers' revolution is an act of hostility against the working 
class and is, therefore, a crime against Russian and international socialism." 

Our evidence shows that neither then nor more recently can this view be said to have 
obtained general acceptance among trade unionists in Russia. For example, at the 
First All-Russian Trade Union Congress which assembled at Petrograd in January 
in 1918, a certain number of representatives, led by the Mensheviks, demanded that 
the trade unions should remain independent. They claimed that the same relations 
should exist between the trade unions in Soviet Russia and the Soviet Government 
as existed between the trade unions and the Governments of other countries. They 
desired to maintain the freedom of the class-struggle, the right to strike, and to retain 
strike funds. They maintained that the Communist contention that there is no need 
for trade unions to possess machinery for bringing pressure to bear upon a Socialist 
Soviet Government, implies that the policy of such a Government must be accepted 
by every worker or association of workers on the ground that it claims to be a 
Workers' and Peasants' Government, and is therefore to be regarded as incapable 
of pursuing a policy contrary to the workers' will. 

225. With regard to the vital question as to the functions of the trade unions 
under the new Government, it was decided at the First All-Russian Trade Union 
Congress that — 

(1.) "The Factory Committees or Soviets" (mentioned in paragraph 218) should become the 
local organs of the trade unions, thereby finally deciding the question as to what was to 
be the relationship between the trade unions and the factory Soviets; after this the 
Factory Committees were usually composed of representatives of the trade unions, the 
Supreme Council of People's Economy and of the rank and file of the particular factory 

(2.) The Workers' Control Committee, which had been set up in industry after the October 
revolution, should form part of the general economic organisation of the Soviet Republic 
and were regarded as the basis of economic administration of the State. 

(3.) The most intimate co-operation was desirable between the trade unions and the People's 
Commissariat for Labour. 


(4.) The People's Commissariat for Labour should carry out the resolutions of the All-Kussian 
Central Council, or Soviet of trade unions, and of the principal Trade Union Congresses. 

(5.) The most important industries — the coal, oil, iron, steel and chemical industries, and 
railway transport, should be placed under a strong centralising control, described as 
" trustification. 

{(').) The closest co-operation should be observed between the trade unions and the Council of 
Soviets of Workers' delegates, and the trade unions should be gradually converted into 
" organs of socialist government, participation in which must be obligatory upon all 
persons engaged in any given industry." 

226. The resolution that the trade unions should ultimately become departments 
of the Soviet Government, i.e., be nationalised, quoted in the last paragraph, not only 
provoked opposition among Menshevik and non-party trade unionists, but also 
aroused misgivings among some Communist trade unionists. The following resolu- 
tions passed at the Second All-Russian Trade Union Congress, which met in January 
1919, afford evidence of these misgivings : — 

" The task of socialising all means of production and the organisation of society on a new 
socialist basis demands stubborn, prolonged work on the reconstruction of the whole government 
machine, the creation of new organs of control and regulation of production and consumption 
resting upon the organised initiative of the masses of the workers themselves. 

' This compels the trade unions to take a more active and energetic part in the Soviets, by 
direct participation in all the State organs, by organising mass proletarian control over their 
activities, by carrying out separate tasks which might confront the Soviet Government through 
their organisations, by co-operating in the reconstruction of various State departments, and by 
the gradual substitution of them by their own organisations by means of fusing the organs of the 
union with those of the State. 

' It would be a mistake, however, in the present stage of development of trade unions 
with the, as yet, imperfect State organisation, immediately to convert the unions into State 
organs and to merge the former into the latter or for the unions to usurp the functions of the 
State. The whole process of complete fusion of the trade unions with the State organs (the 
process which we call nationalisation of trade unions) must take place as the inevitable result 
of their joint close and harmonious working and the preparation by the trade unions of the 
broad masses of the workers for the task of managing the State machine and all the administrative 

227. The feeling aroused by these misgivings increased in volume, and was 
assisted by the difficulties which arose in adjusting the relations of the trade unions 
and the People's Commissariat of Labour in accordance with the decisions of the 
First All-Iiussian Trade Union Congress stated in paragraph 225. Departmental 
relations are never easy to adjust, and in this case the difficulties were greater owing 
to the clash of personal views. The question obviously required delicate handling, 
and was better left obscure than too sharply defined. According to Lozovsky — 

' The whole wages policy, i.e., the State regulation of wages, standardisation of labour, 
questions" of labour discipline, &c, is exclusively conducted by the trade unions, while the 
Commissariats merely confirm the decisions arrived at by the trade unions. Protection of 
labour and the distribution of labour power are carried out by the Commissariat of Labour, while 
the trade unions control these departments through their representatives." 

228. These difficulties were accompanied by a failure to establish smooth 
working relations between the trade unions and the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy. It had been agreed that representatives of the trade unions should parti- 
cipate in the work of the various economic departments of the Soviet Government- 
departments which were concentrated in the hands of the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy. It was arranged that collegiates, or boards of four or five persons, repre- 
senting the Supreme Council of People's Economy, trade unions and the workers of 
the particular factory, should be responsible for the administration of individual 
works. In practice, however, this system worked badly, as is admitted by Trotsky 
in his writings and published speeches on the trade unions, and the dissatisfaction 
thus created was increased owing to the industrial disorganisation everywhere 
prevailing, to which the inefficiency of the collegiate system contributed. 

229. The failure of the collegiate system had two results. On the one hand, 
the trade unionists who had demanded the independence of the trade unions began 
to blame the Supreme Council of People's Economy for the rapid fall in production, 
with its consequent terrible effect upon the life of the industrial workers, and the 
beginnings were seen of a Trade Union Party, which adopted a syndicalist standpoint 
and advocated a concentration of organisation, direction and control of Russian 
industry in the hands of the trade unions. On the other hand, the second result of 
the failure of the collegiate system was to strengthen the position of those in the 


Soviet Government who desired that the trade unions should be incorporated in the 
boviei Government. Jjuring the fifteen months of civil war which elapsed between 
the meetings of the Second and Third All-russian Trade Union Congresses, the first 
oi these tendencies mentioned above was temporarily submerged beneath the surface 
of military events. The second tendency — towards the nationalisation of the trade 
unions — became more clearly defined during the civil war, and found its most precise 
and extreme expression in Trotsky, the People's Commissary for War. Two 
diametrically opposed trade union policies thus developed, the one leading to syndi- 
calism and the trade unionising of the State, the other to the swallowing up of the 
trade unions in the State. Vve now pass to consider the circumstances m which 
Trotsky came to be the leader of the group which advocates the nationalisation of 
trade unions, and thus to precipitate a grave crisis, not only in the trade unions, Out 
also in the Communist Party itself. 

230. Trotsky's experience in the army during the civil war and his knowledge 
of the demoralising eflect which shortage of food in the towns had upon the Russian 
worker, led him to believe that it was necessary to introduce in industry those methods 
of conscription and militarisation which had been necessary in the army during the 
war ; he was convinced that only by maKing the conscription and militarisation of 
industry the basis of the economic policy of the Soviet Government would it be 
possible to secure the labour necessary to restore the industrial production cf Russia. 
In the course of a remarkable speech delivered before the Third All-Russian Trade 
Union Congress in 1920, he paid a tribute to the part played by prominent trade 
unionists in the work of organising, disciplining and leading the Red army at the 
front; and he maintained that when the time came for a transition from war to 
peace, these trade union leaders would have to continue these services in organising 
the workers in Russia on a basis of the conscription and militarisation of labour. He 
maintained that the characteristics of social development find in militarism their 
most finished, bevelled and acute expression ; that a harsh internal regime is insepar- 
able from military organisation and that it brings clearness, form, accuracy and 
responsibility to the highest possible standard. Such qualities were of value in 
every branch of activity. The German railways owed their efficiency largely to the 
appointment of N.C.O.'s and officers to administrative posts in the Department of 
Ways and Communications. In Russia they had found that a trade unionist who 
had undergone a course of military training returned to his union as good a prole- 
tarian as ever, but he returned tempered like steel, made a man of, more independent 
and more decisive because he had become accustomed to responsibility. They could 
not hope in Russia for a free flow of workers from the labour market, therefore com- 
pulsion was necessary. The producing trade unions of the ruling working-class had 
neither the same tasks, nor did they adopt the same methods as trade unions in 
bourgeois countries. All workers were forced to belong to trade unions in Russia. 
Economic compulsion and political compulsion are manifestations of the dictatorship 
of the working-class in two closely allied departments. In short, the path towards 
Socialism lies through the highest and most intensive development of the State ; that 
was the period through which Russia was passing. Before disappearing the State 
assumed the most merciless form, imperatively grasping the lives of its citizens on 
every side. The army had gripped men with the most severe compulsion, and the 
State organisation must do the same in this period of transition. Such are Trotsky's 
views upon the trade unions. 

231. Meanwhile, during 1919, inter-departmental friction and inefficiency grew 
worse, and, at the same time, so did the general economic situation of the country. It 
was in these circumstances that Trotsky took over the People's Commissariat of Ways 
and Communications after Krasin's departure with the Russian Trade Delegation for 
London in March 1920, and achieved improved results. His experience in this 
capacity led him to attack bitterly the triplification of functions between the Supreme 
Council of People's Economy, the People's Commissariat of Labour and the trade 
unions, and, more particularly, the failure of the Supreme Council and the People's 
Commissariat for Food, to take advantage of the better transport facilities available 
during August and September by not having ready at the various stations in the 
provinces the food supplies for which rolling stock was waiting. He was thus 
fortified in his belief that the adoption of a general policy of militarisation, including 
conscription of labour and the nationalisation of the trade unions, was the only means 
of restoring industrial production in Russia, Not only Trotsky, but other prominent 
members of the Soviet Government had become convinced that a radical reor^anisa- 
[5631] K ° 


tion of the economic institutions of the Republic was necessary if any progress was 
to be made towards the economic regeneration of Russia; and, although they might 
not agree with Trotsky's views on industrial reconstruction, it was plain to all that 
no plan of reconstruction could be decided upon until the position and functions of 
the trade unions had been determined once and for all. 

232. During the autumn it became evident that Trotsky's proposals for the 
conscription and militarisation of labour and his conception of the part to be played 
by the trade unions in carrying it out had aroused great opposition in the trade union 
movement. Support is lent to this by — 

(1.) Trotsky's admission made in a speech to the transport workers that the policy of militarisa- 
tion was evoking an opposition which had not yet subsided. 

(2.) Transport workers, who accused Trotsky, on the occasion of this speech, of mistrusting 
the working-class, and who condemned militarisation of labour and advocated a policy 
of decentralisation. 

(3.) The following statement of a Communist in " Economic Life," that " the inconsistency of 
the position is shown by those more excitable revolutionaries who, like Comrade Trotsky, 

want to seize the bull by the horns the unpreparedness of the trade unions to 

carry out tasks set clearly before them at all the various conferences, and their exhaustion 
by the war, have made them merely organisations for the supply of Soviet officials instead 

of organs of economic dictatorship The Eussian worker, freed from political 

oppression, remains actually a slave economically." 

233. This opposition was led by those who, as mentioned above, had always 
stood out for the independence of the trade unions, and is represented by three 
groups. They are : — 

(1.) The "Labour Opposition." 
(2.) The "Democratic Centralists." 
(3.) The "Ignatov" group. 

(1.) The "Labour Opposition." 

The "Labour Opposition." This group is lead by Shlyapnikov, president of 
the All-Russian Miners' Union and formerly People's Commissary for Labour. It 
demands that — 

(a.) The organisation, direction and control of the economic life of Eussia should be placed 
in the hands of the trade unions. 

(b.) The various branches of industry should be divided up for administrative purposes among 
the trade unions, each branch of industry being organised and directed by the trade union 
representing the workers in that particular branch. Under 'this system, therefore, the 
Miners' Union and the Metal Workers' Union would be responsible for working the coal and 
metal industries, the trade unions representing the Textile operatives for working the 
various branches of the textile industry. 

(c.) Appointments to administrative posts in the organisation and direction of industry should 
be made as the result of elections conducted by the representatives of the trade union 
charged with managing the industry in question, or by the general body of members 
of the union. 

(d.) The All-Eussian Central Soviet of Trade Unions should co-ordinate and control the 
activities of the trade unions charged with the management of the various branches of 
industry, and the acceptance of candidates put forward by the All-Eussian Central 
Soviet of Trade Unions to fill administrative posts in the Economic Departments of the 
State must be obligatory upon the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 

The proposals of the Labour Opposition are, therefore, syndicalist in character, 
and they were bitterly attacked on this ground by Lenin in an article, remarkable for 
its incoherence, published in the Moscow "Pravda" for the 21st January, 1921. 

(2.) The " Democratic Centralists." 

234. The broader aspects of the crisis are seen in the theses of the groups 
standing for 'Democratic Centralism," led by Sapronov, a Communist workman, 
who is said to be president of the Painters' Trade Union. The Democratic 
Centralists regard the trade union question as being part of the crisis which has 
arisen in the Communist Party itself, and therefore they deal more with general 
political questions in their theses than with the trade unions. According to the 
Democratic Centralists the following factors, among others, have contributed to 
bring about the present crisis : — 

fa.) The decline in the general standard of party conduct and in party spirit among the 
Communist rank and file. 


(b.) The dead hand of bureaucracy, paralysing the innumerable departments of the Government 
and especially the principal Government bodies, such as the All-Eussian Central 
Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissary. This bureaucracy has been 
strengthened by the decisions taken at the Ninth Congress of the Communist Party with 
regard to militarisation of labour and to individual control in the factories, and has led, 
according to thesis 3, to a weakening of the party and Soviet organisation and to a process 
of decomposition from above. 

(c.) The practice of conferring privileges, often in an entirely improper manner. 

(d.) The growth of discontent among the Communist rank and file which has given birth to 
unhealthy symptons among the less class conscious members of the party, and has even 
led them to act contrary to party interests. 

(e.) The decisions of party conferences advocating — 

(1.) The attraction of the broad masses of the party to a more intimate participation in 

party life, 
(2.) Improved contact between central and local organisations and the masses, and 
(3.) The abolition of privileges 

have remained a dead letter. 

(/.) The efforts made to maintain intact the existing personnel of all the principal executive 
departments and institutions, as clearly shown in the election to the new All-Eussian 
Central Executive Committee and its Presidium — notwithstanding the above decision 
and above all, the resolutions of the 8th All-Eussian Congress of Soviets. 

The Democratic Centralists therefore regard the trade union crisis as one of the 
results of the disorganised influences which have been introduced into the Russian 
Communist Party by the abuses set out above. The members of the group therefore 
direct attention not so much to the trade union question in itself as to the wider and 
more vital question of purifying the Communist Party from the disintegrating 
forces which threaten to destroy it from within and, with it, the existing Russian 
Government. They maintain that, if the party is to recover from the present crisis 
in which it finds itself, the following measures, among others, must be taken : — 

(1.) The political bureau of five and the organising bureau of the Central Committee of the 

Communist Party must become in actual fact executive organs responsible to the Central 

Committee of the party in plenary session. 
(2.) Eepresentatives of the Moscow, Petrograd and provincial committees of the party should be 

admitted to sessions of the Central Committee where questions other than secret questions 

are discussed. 
(3.) Freedom must be accorded to all members of the party to express their opinion in the 

press, at Party Congresses and in all responsible party and Soviet organisations. 
(4.) A systematic exchange of administrative personnel must take place between the Central 

Government and the provinces, between the trade union and the Supreme Council of 

People's Economy. 
(5.) Party conferences must be held three times a year. 
(6.) The functions of the All-Eussian Central Executive Committee and of the Soviet of People's 

Commissaries, which have been arrogated by the political bureau of the Central Committee 

of the party must be restored. 
(7.) A radical renewal and purging of the leading party and Soviet organisations, notably of the 

Central Committee of the Communist Party and of the People's Commissary must take 


235. The Democratic Centralists do not, therefore, advocate such a radical 
programme of reconstruction as that contemplated in the syndicalist programme of 
the Labour Opposition group. The views of the Ignatov group are not sufficiently 
distinct from those of the Democratic Centralists to justify description here. 

Lenin and the Trade Union Crisis. 

236. Some time before the theses of the Labour Opposition and the Democratic 
Centralists were published, Lenin saw clearly that a strong body of feeling against 
Trotsky's proposals of militarisation was forming. He therefore resolved to 
compromise and lent his support to a central trade union group represented by 
M. P. Tomsky, president of the All Russian Central Soviet of Trade Unions, 
S. Lozovsky'and Y. Rudzutak, both members of the Presidium of the Central Soviet. 
They may be said to have represented since October 1917 the official Soviet Govern- 
ment trade union attitude. They had in the past opposed those who stood out for the 
independence of the trade unions in the Soviet Republic, and have and continue to 
support the policy of promoting a gradual fusion between the trade unions and the 
economic departments of the State. They opposed Trotsky's trade unions 
programme just as uncompromisingly as they opposed those who advocated the 
independence of the unions. As far back as the first week of September 1920 

[5631] K 2 


Tamsky had sharply opposed Trotsky at a conference of the Russian trade unions 
hold at Moscow, and had attacked him again at a plenary session of the Central 
Committee of the Russian Communist Party on the 9th September. On the latter 
occasion Trotsky outlined a rough draft of his proposal on militarisation of labour 
and bitterly criticised the bureaucracy existing in the Government. Tomsky appears 
to have retorted by pointing to the bureaucracy existing in the Transport Workers' 
Trade Union where Trotsky has a certain following and where special measures of 
militarisation have already been introduced. At the meeting in question attacks 
appear to have been made'against the Government both from the side of Bukharin 
and of Sapronov and Shlyapnikov as well as from that of Trotsky, and the position 
became so acute that it was found necessary to form a buffer group in the Central 
Committee as an emergency measure, with a view to trying to compose the differences 
which have arisen. At one time the attack was in danger of developing into a 
personal attack on Lenin himself, and it seems to have been as a result of this that 
Lenin withdrew from direct participation in the debates and that Zinoviev took his 
place. As a result of the position which had been created it was decided to review 
the whole trade union question, and a special commission was appointed by the 
Communist Party to investigate and report upon the tasks of the trade unions during 
the period of industrial reconstruction in the immediate future. The following were 
appointed members of this commission : — 

S. Lozovsky. A. I. Rykov. 

M. P. Tomsky. G. E. Zinoviev. 

Y. Rudzutak.* L. D. Trotsky. 

Andreev. K. Lutovinov. 

Trotsky refused to serve on the commission, t which Lenin stated in his article 
on the party crisis still further deepened the schism in the party. The opposition 
against his proposals did not abate. 

237. Nothing was done at the 8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets to settle the 
trade union question, but the position of Trotsky seems to have grown weaker. 
Zinoviev supported Tomsky, and observed in his speech before the Congress that the 
trade unions should be left untrammelled bv the State and that they were to be 
regarded as one of the most suitable instruments for combatting bureaucracy. Lenin 
himself, in a speech made at the Bolshoi Teatr (Great Theatre) at Moscow, openly 
attacked Trotsky, whom he described as imagining that Soviet Russia had already 
become a Communist society, whereas, on the contrary, there still remained a great 
deal of cultural work to be done with a view to inculcating the Communist spirit into 
the masses. Lenin maintained that the trade unions must be the school which was to 
inculcate this spirit. Kalinin, the president of the Presidium of the newly elected 
8th All-Russian Central Executive Committee, supported Lenin in a speech delivered 
on the same occasion. 

238. In the middle of January 1921 the Trade Union Commission, appointed in 
November 1920, completed and signed a compromise report. The signatories pointed 
out that the commencement of the new period of revolution found the trade unions 
weak in regard to organisation compared with the immensity of the problems which 
presented themselves on the economic front. The present attitude of the unions was 
not to be regarded as showing that they were in a critical situation but only as a 
symptom of growth. The present situation demanded that the trade unions should 
take a more direct part in the organisation of production, not only by delegating to their 
members the duty of gradually transforming the trade unions into economic organs, 
but through the action of trade unions as such. Only on the basis of the initiative of 
the working masses could results be secured on the economic front. The most 
important role of the trade unions was as a school for Communism, and only those 
Russian unions formed a real Communist school which were able gradually to imbue the 
various strata of workers with the consciousness of improving national industry. The 
trade unions must serveevery side of the daily working life and they must inculcate the 
ideas of the Communist programme, gradually leading the workers to Communism. 
The speedy incorporation of trade unions into the machinery of State would be a 
great political mistake, because at the present stage of evolution it would hinder the 

* Rudzutak is president of the Central Board of Waterways, known as the "Glavod," under 
the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 

I Stated in Lenin's ai*ticle on the Crisis in the Party, Moscow " Pravda," for the 21st January, 


trade unions from fulfilling the above-mentioned tasks and fail to draw non-party 
organisations into the service of the Soviet Government or retain them as organisa- 
tions into which workers of varying political and religious convictions might enter. 
The principal methods to be pursued by the trade unions should be not those of 
compulsion but conviction. This would not eliminate the necessity of proletarian 
compulsion in certain cases, as, for example, mobilisation on various fronts. With 
regard to the question of the relations of the Communist Party to the trade unions 
the project states that the Russian Communist Party should, as before, direct the 
principles which are to govern the trade unions. The 10th Congress of the party 
is to take place in the spring of 1921, and it should categorically warn the 
economic organisations of the Republic against unnecessary paternalism and 
unnecessary interference with the current work of the trade unions. The report 
realises the necessity for retaining the principle of priority in procuring supplies 
for certain primary branches of industry and the desirability of a gradual but 
continuous improvement of conditions in various groups of workers and their unions, 
thereby strengthening the All-Russian Soviet of Trade Unions. 

The Organisation of Industry to become an Effective Part of the Trade Unions 

239. Finally, the statement asserts that the organisation of industry has not as 
yet become an effective part of the work of the unions, and it should be one of the 
principal tasks of the unions to bring this about. With regard to the fixing of the 
rates of pay it was possible to secure a more equal distribution of articles of 
consumption; at the same time money payment on a basis approaching equality 
should be retained as a means of discipline and of raising the productivity of labour. 
For this purpose it was necessary to establish a system of supply and distribution in 
accordance with the workers' supply organs of the trade unions and in harmony with the 
practical work of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. It is finally stated that 
it is of primary importance that the masses should become acquainted with the 
fundamental aim and purpose of a single economic plan and provide for the 
organisation of a national bureau of efficiency propaganda by the All-Russian Soviet 
of Trade Unions supported by the Russian Communist Party. The reduction of the 
number of unions at present existing is contemplated in the scheme. 

240. It is interesting to note the name of Tsiperovich among the signatories of the 
commission's report. It was Tsiperovich, president of the Petrograd Trade Union 
Soviet, of whom Trotsky writes in his book " Terrorism and Communism " as being 
one of those trade unionists who distinguished himself as a military organiser in the 
Red army and who might be expected to perform more valuable service still on his 
return to his trade union activities, enriched by the military experience he had 
gained. It would seem apparent that Trotsky must have relied on the support of 
Tsiperovich and this has been denied him. 

Trade Union Campaign precedes the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party. 

241. A great campaign in connection with the trade union question has 
developed throughout Russia since January 1921 in preparation for the 10th 
Congress of the Russian Communist Party which meets on the 6th March and at 
which it is expected that a final solution of the trade union crisis will be reached. 
The following information regarding the result of some of the debates which have 
already taken place is taken from the "Russian Press Review" for the 11th 
February, 1921. This review is described as " a weekly journal to provide informa- 
tion regarding Soviet Russia for the free use of editors and journalists." No 
indication is given as to where or by whom it is published. We are inclined to 
believe, however, that the "Russian Press Review" is published in Moscow under 
the auspices of the Soviet Government or of the Communist International :— 

(1.) On the 3rd January a meeting of the local organisations of the Petrograd branch of the 
Russian Communist Party supported by an overwhelming majority the trade union 
programme of Lenin and Zinoviev. This resolution was later approved at a general 
meeting of all members of the Petrograd organisation at which only twenty persons out 
of 4,000 present are said to have voted against it. 

(2.) The Executive Committee of the Moscow Communist Party seem at first to have taken up 
a position favourable to Trotsky's proposals. A series of discussions took place in the 
local Moscow organisations of the party, between the 1st and 19th January, in the course of 
which the views of Lenin and Zinoviev gradually began to rise in favour and those of 


Trotsky to suffer a corresponding decline. Finally, on the 19th January, a meeting of the 
Moscow committee of the party, at which Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Shlyapnikov and 
Sapronov were present, resulted in sixty-two votes heing recorded for the programme of 
Lenin and Zinoviev and eighteen lor those of Trotsky. Two days later a general meeting of 
all party groups (presumably of the Moscow district) gave four-fifths of their votes for 
the Lenin-Zinoviev programme. On the 28th January the Communist Section of the 
All-Eussian Central Soviet of Trade Unions cast seventy votes for the programme of 
Lenin and Zinoviev, twenty-three for that of Trotsky and twenty-one for that of 
Shlyapnikov. The discussion on the trade union controversy in the Moscow Government 
or Province is not yet completed, but it is stated that an overwhelming majority for 
Lenin and Zinoviev is anticipated. 

(3.) The All-llussian Congress of the Miners' Trade Union. The programme of the " Labour 
Opposition " led by Shlyapnikov received sixty-one votes as against 137 which are said 
to have been given for Lenin and Zinoviev. 

(4.) The All-Russian Metal Workers' Trade Union. Eleven members of the committee voted 
for the " Labour Opposition " and seven for Trotsky. 

(5.) The Kharkov organisation of the Communist Party voted in favour of Trotsky. 

(G.) At a Communist Party meeting at Tula on the 25th January, 272 votes were cast for 
Trotsky against 537 votes for the programme of Lenin and Zinoviev. 

(7.) At a meeting of the Communist Party in the industrial area of Ivanovo- Voznesensk, 
900 votes were cast for Lenin and Zinoviev and twenty-seven votes for Trotsky. 

(8.) A provincial party conference at Tambov gave forty-seven votes for Lenin and Zinoviev and 
twenty-nine for Trotsky. 

Formation of a Trotsky Block. 

242. As a result of making certain concessions, principally of a verbal 
character, Trotsky has succeeded in forming a block numbering eighteen persons. 
Besides Trotsky himself the following are members of this group : Bukharin and 
Dzerzhinsky, representing the extreme left of the Russian Communist Party; 
Krestinsky, Pyatakov, Preobrazhensky and Rakovsky, who incline towards the Left 
but not so strongly; and Serebryakov, Larin, Sokolnikov, Goltsman, Ivanov, 
Kassior, Kohn, Averin and Kin. The resolution which this group has prepared to 
submit to the 10th Congress of the Communist Party proposed that a commission 
should be immediately established composed of representatives of the Ail-Russian 
Soviet of Trade Unions on the one hand, and the Supreme Council of People's 
Economy and the People's Commissariats for Agriculture, Food. Ways and 
Communications, and Labour on the other, for the purpose of determining what 
are to be the relations between the unions and the economic departments of the 
State, and of regrouping both the trade unions and the economic departments of 
the State on a basis of the industrial experience hitherto derived. The resolution 
is obviously a verbal compromise, and it is sufficient only to mention in 
conclusion its most important point — the extension of the rights of the disciplinary 
courts and of their jurisdiction over the administrative staff — a point which has 
apparently enabled Trotsky to retain the fundamental principle of his programme at 
a cost of merely dispensing with the offensive words : ' conscription ' and 
"militarisation of labour." 

243. It is difficult to believe that Trotsky has not received a powerful access of 
strength in the formation of this new group. Preobrazhensky, who was intimately 
associated with propaganda work in the army during the civil war and is now 
director of the organisation established by the Communist Party to engage in active 
propaganda work among the soldiers being demobilised, is an important figure in the 
party. Rakovsky, who has hitherto supported Lenin on most of the great questions 
of controversy which have arisen since the Bolsheviks seized power, is president of 
the Council of People's Commissary of the Ukraine Soviet Government. 
Dzerzhinsky has attained notoriety as the president of the All-Russian Extra- 
ordinary Commission. Krestinsky, the People's Commissary for Finance and the 
inspirer of the campaign for the nationalisation of the Centro-Soyuz or Central 
Union of Co-operative Societies, is a member of the Political Bureau of Five and the 
Central Committee of the Communist Party. Pyatakov, the former sugar 
millionaire of Kiev and lately commanding the labour armies in the Ural; Sokolnikov, 
until recently the chief political commissary of the Red army in Turkestan, and 
Serebryakov, who was secretary of the Central Labour Committee during 1920 and is 
an old party worker of many years' service, are figures of importance, and the first 
two exercise considerable influence in the ranks of the Red army. We are of opinion 
that there will be a great shock of forces when the 10th Congress of the Communist 
Party meets on the 6th March, by which time it is possible that the Labour 


Opposition and the Democratic Centralists, so hostile both to Trotsky on the one 
hand and Lenin on the other, will present a united front, and we are inclined to 
believe that their influence, both then and in succeeding months, will be far greater, 
although probably exercised for some time beneath the surface than would appear 
likely from the sparse accounts of their activities which have recently appeared in 
the Soviet press. 

In conclusion, we believe that the trade union crisis in Russia cannot be 
fairly appraised unless it be realised that the crisis itself, the schism in the 
Communist Party and the wave of non-party feeling behind the Labour Opposition 
and the Democratic Centralists are part of a great psychological revolt which is now 
taking place in Russia. It is a revolt against — 

(1.) The oppression which the military regime and the extraordinary commissions exercised 

during the civil war and still exercise, although less ruthlessly. 
(2.) The all-embracing State Control— a State Control which has become more intensive as a 

result of the military regime. 
(3.) The continued deterioration in an economic situation already desperate. 
(4.) The stern though logical appeal made by Trotsky and others to the town population, 

exhausted by underfeeding, to redouble their efforts if 'this continued deterioration 

is to stop. 

In our opinion this revolt will inevitably exert a decisive influence on the future 
of Russia, whether now or later will hereafter appear. 

The Peasants. 

244. The peasants form from 80 to 85 per cent, of the population of Russia, 
and they are the food producers of the country. The peasant question is therefore 
of paramount importance to any Russian Government, and we are convinced that 
the permanence of any political and social order in Russia must largely depend upon 
how it is solved. 

The Intellectuals and the Peasants. 

245. A wide gulf separates the intellectuals from the peasant. The former are, 
as a class, strong in theory, weak in practice, inconstant in purpose, lacking in 
decision and prone to lose the forest in the trees. They are often extremely 
unconventional, even in regard to the well-established usages of society. The 
peasants, on the other hand, are three-fourths illiterate, narrowly practical and 
exhaustingly patient. They are a strange mixture of simplicity and shrewdness, 
and sometimes startlingly clear on the deep-rooted essentials of things. They live by 
custom, show, Tf only crudely, a strain of in-born equity, and are often peculiarly 
competent in the ordering of their simple village life. 

Results of the Emancipation. 

246. The Act of Emancipation of 1861 did not result in a uniform raising of 
the standard of life among the peasants. Some of the holdings which they received 
were fertile, while others were not. Some peasants were industrious and others lazy. 
In many cases, modern methods of agriculture would have enabled the peasant to 
derive a livelihood from less fertile plots which, under primitive conditions of 
agriculture, yielded insufficient, for his needs. There was a tendency, therefore, for 
the peasants to become sharply divided up into those who were well-to-do and those 
who were very poor. Some, indeed, grew quite wealthy and acquired a considerable 
acreage of land. One of the primary objects of the land policy of the Soviet Govern- 
ment is to remove these inequalities of fortune as will be seen later. In the meantime 
we deal with the economic effects of the revolution. 

Economic Results of the Revolution on the Peasants. 

247. One of the results of the progressive economic decay which followed the 
revolution was an increasing scarcity of clothing, boots, salt, sugar, kerosene and 
other articles of common use which the peasant was accustomed to get from the town. 
From an early period of the revolution, when prices began to rise, the peasants 
accumulated large stocks of paper money, which they received in exchange for the 
produce they sent to the town. As time went on, and # the commodities they needed 
became scarcer and scarcer and finally almost unobtainable, the peasants began to 


cease sending their corn to the towns, where they could buy little or nothing with 
the money they received. Large stocks of grain remained in the hands of the 
peasants, and the incentive to cultivate the normal acreage of land was weakened 
thereby. Starvation meanwhile fastened its hold upon the towns, and there began 
the gradual isolation of town from country. There has been information of this 
tendency from several sources, which our evidence confirms. 

248. The imminence of starvation in the towns made it necessary for the Soviet 
Government to induce the peasants to give up their surplus supplies of grain. They 
were unable to make them do this voluntarily and had recourse to requisitions. 
These requisitions have occasioned repeated revolts, and punitive expeditions have 
been sent to quell them. The following examples illustrate the carrying out of this 
policy : — 

(a.) Moscow. — The necessity of feeding the population of the capital has led to 
a more than usually severe application of the policy of requisition in this 
district. There is evidence that the peasants round Moscow have in many 
cases not been allowed to retain sufficient food for the needs of themselves 
and their families. One of our witnesses told us that he had spoken to a 
peasant in Moscow last spring, whose daughter had died of starvation a 
week before. 

The following extract from an article published in ' ' Ekonomicheskaya 
Zhizn" (''Economic Life") for Saturday, the 31st July, 1920, shows that the 
Moscow area is becoming unable to satisfy at one and the same time the 
demands of the city and of the industrial workers of the adjacent coal 
basin : ' The serious food shortage has greatly interfered with the work of 
the basin. It has become so acute that the workers in certain districts could 
not even be supplied with the minimum hunger rations." 

(b.) The North-Western Provinces. — The peasants of Smolensk, Tver and 
Mogilev Provinces showed their independent spirit under the autocracy, 
and the Soviet authorities have experienced great difficulty in requisitioning 
food from them for the purpose of provisioning the towns and the Red army 
on the Polish front. The peasants have frequently risen in revolt, more 
especially in the north-western part of the Smolensk Province, which is 
covered with marsh and forest and therefore is difficult of access. While 
the Soviet authorities have formed punitive expeditions, the peasants have 
organised marauding bands of Green Guards, which on one occasion 
attacked and entered the shire town of Poriechsky. The Bolsheviks have 
ultimately refrained from adopting drastic measures in view of the 
turbulence of the peasantry and the proximity of the Polish front, which 
has led them to fear a general rising in the event of a defeat of the Eed 
army at the hands of the Poles. This area is referred to again in 
paragraphs 255 and 259. 

(c.) The North-Eastern Provinces : Vyatka. — Before the revolution nearly 
all the land in the Vyatka Province was in the hands of the peasantry, 
many of whom owned considerable tracts of territory. For this reason, and 
as being one of the largest corn-bearing Provinces, it was subject to 
frequent requisitions by the Soviet authorities. A report of the Food 
Bureau of the Vyatka Province, published in the Soviet journal 
" Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " (" Economic Life ") for the 3rd February, 1920, is 
instructive : " The Bureau states that it is essential to show clearly the exact 
position in the Province with regard to food. Last autumn, on the one 
hand, owing to the loss of territory sustained by Soviet Russia, and, on the 
other, owing to the setting up of a series of organisations in the various 
Provinces by the Commissariat of Food, an increasing flood of repre- 
sentatives of the starving population of other Provinces began to pour 
into Vyatka. It was possible to supply some of these during September and 
October with unrationed products (principally vegetables), but this did not 
amount to much. But in December the shortage of supplies produced a crisis. 
More and more purchasers arrived daily in desperation to get hold of any 
produce there. was. However, the possibility of fulfilling the orders with 
which the delegates were charged had already, by December, become a 
matter of chance, and later sank to zero. During the last few months the 
Vyatka Province has been unable to supply anything to the starving 


population. The representatives of other Provinces who arrive hoe in 
search of food wander from place to place, spend the funds given them by 
those who send them and go away with nothing. Returning empty-handed 
they only incur the anger of their comrades who have sent them, but the 
fault is not theirs. The purchase of unrationed produce has now entered 
on a dead season, and the endeavours of the best food organisers are fruit- 
less. The Bureau of the Food Co-operative Society of the Vyatka 
Province considered it to be its duty to report this." 

The Land Policy of the Soviet Government. 

249. We now turn to consider the theories to which the Soviet 
Government seek to give practical effect in their agrarian policy. Accord- 
ing to Communist theory, the land is held to belong to the community as a 
whole and not to be the individual property of those who work it and among whom 
it is divided up for purposes of cultivation. In their attitude towards the relations 
of the peasant to the State, the Communists contemplate in theory a contract 
which was outlined in general terms as follows by M. Krasin in the course of a 
conversation with a member of the committee : — ■ 

(a.) The peasant is called upon to deliver without monetary payment to the State 
the surplus products of his land, i.e., what remains after the needs of 
himself and his family are satisfied. 

With a view, however, to removing the inequalities which exist 
among the peasants, it is arranged that the rich peasant is asked to give 
the whole of his surplus produce, while those with lesser substance are 
allowed to retain a percentage of their surplus, graduated according to 
their wealth. The poorest peasants are not required to make any 
contribution, but, in certain cases, the State itself contributes to their 

(b.) In return for this surplus, the Government proposes to supply the peasants 
with 'agricultural machinery and implements, articles of common 
necessity, the advice of agricultural experts, opportunities of technical 
and general education and of political and social development. 

It is also the purpose of the Government to place at the service of 
the peasant facilities of rail and water transport, of postal and tele- 
graphic communication and the benefit of other public services. 

250. The Government cannot give effect to this programme at the present time. 
M. Krasin, in conversation with a member of the committee, represented that the 
circumstances of war and exclusion from the outer world has made it impossible for 
the Government to regulate exchange between town and country by giving the 
peasants the commodities of which they stand in need. Russia is short of agricul- 
tural machinery and implements and of the small manufactured articles of common 
necessity, the former of which have been largely and the latter in a lesser degree 
imported from abroad. In this case, therefore, the blockade has been considerably 
felt. In practice, therefore, the Government have been compelled to requisition 
supplies, and leave almost worthless paper money in return for what they requisition. 
So acute, indeed, has the problem of exchange become between town and 
village that the Soviet authorities are proceeding to reproduce the 100 rouble and 
500 rouble notes issued by the Tsarist Government, owing to the refusal of the 
peasants voluntarily to give up their corn in exchange for Soviet currency, and to the 
fact that they are less reluctant to give up their produce in exchange for notes which 
they believe to have been issued by the old Government.* And further, the promises 
of the Soviet Government to the peasants regarding facilities in rail and water 
transport cannot be realised until the transportation system has been restored to 
something approaching its pre-war level. 

251. In the meantime, model farms have been established for the purpose of 
inculcating modern methods of cattle-rearing, horse-breeding and agriculture. We 
have made careful enquiry as to the number and working of these farms, but our 

* This information has been received by the Committee from Dr. Sokolov, a member of the 
Social Revolutionary Party, who left Petrograd in September 1920. Dr. Sokolov obtained this 
information in August from the typographical workers in the Soviet Note Producing Factory, which 
is situated at No. 149, Fontanka, Petrograd. He had lectured to these workers before the war at a 
time when they were in the service of the Imperial Mint. 

[5631] L 


information is fragmentary. The farms appear to be few in number, and, although 
well organised, according to the testimony of the Hon. Bertrand Russell and other 
members of the British Labour Delegation, they only serve to throw into relief the 
low level to which agriculture has fallen as a result of the revolution. 

252. By far the most impressive feature of the agricultural policy of the 
Government is the powerful campaign of propaganda which has been undertaken by 
the Peasant Department of the Russian Communist Party, under the direction of 
Nevsky. Kalinin, the president of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, 
who is himself a peasant, has been making a series of tours throughout the country 
districts. The object of these tours is to awaken among the peasants a consciousness 
of the solidarity of interest between them and the Bolshevik Government, and to 
explain the disabilities under which that Government labours in trying to relieve the 
necessities of the agricultural population. 

A ttitude of the Peasants towards the Government. 

253. Our evidence shows that the attitude of the peasants to the Soviet Govern- 
ment is usually apathetic or hostile, and that what he desires most of all is to be left 
in peace to till his ground and to dispose of its produce as he likes. The measure of 
hostility, where hostility exists, is largely proportionate to the interference of the 
Government in their affairs, and it has not been possible for the requisitions and 
punitive detachments to cover more than a small part of the vast peasant territories, 
and that at irregular intervals. The permanent contact of the Government with the 
peasants is confined chiefly to the vicinity of towns and to the villages along or near 
the railways and waterways of the country. In such cases, a Communist official and 
his staff will be found in residence, but it appears that his influence is largely 
restricted to his administrative duties and that he has little or no following among 
the inhabitants. Although there are signs that the peasant is gradually awakening 
to political consciousness as a result of the events of the last three years he remains 
dominated first and foremost by his economic interests. Mr. Roden Buxton, who 
passed a few weeks among certain villages in the Saratov Province, said that 
many of the peasants complained of the shortage of agricultural implements and 
small articles of daily use. So far as his observation went, they did not, except in 
one instance, manifest any open hostility towards the Soviet Government. 

Attitude to Denikin and Kolchak. 

254. Under Denikin and Kolchak, as under the Soviet Government, the peasants 
were subject to requisition, and rose in periodical rovolt, and their risings in the 
rear of both were a decisive factor in the overthrow of the White Russian forces. In 
the south they feared that Denikin would take the land away from them and restore 
it to its former owners, whereas the Bolsheviks left them to work their land while 
denying it to them as their private possession and regarding it as belonging to the 
community. The peasant proprietors of Siberia do not seem to have entertained any 
larger measure of confidence in the Government of Kolchak. We are informed by 
M. Krasin and others whom we have interviewed that the peasants in the south are 
far more tolerant of the Soviet Government than those in other parts of Russia. 
This is explained by the fact that the policy of Denikin completely alienated the 

Prices in the County. 

255. We are led by evidence from many sources to conclude that the great 
political and economic changes of the revolution have, as is usual in revolutions, 
caused the peasant far less suffering and dislocation of his life than is the case with 
other classes of the population. With few exceptions, they have had plenty of food 
One witness, who had occasion to travel from Smolensk to Moscow three or four times 
a year during 1919-20, told us that the price of a pound of veal was 200 roubles 
in Moscow, 40 roubles in Smolensk, and only 7 roubles in the outlying village of 
Klimovich, not far from the border of the Smolensk and Tver Provinces, and the price 
of milk in the county about the same time was 30 roubles a bottle, and of a pound of 
butter 200 roubles. These prices refer to the spring of 1920. Near the town the peasants 
have often contrived to carry on a lucrative trade in barter at speculative values, and 
in some cases have bought with their hoarded roubles articles which were formerly 
only within the grasp of the rich. One of the witnesses records having seen a 


peasant give 110,000 roubles for a fur coat in the neighbourhood of Moscow, while 
another witness speaks of 5,000 roubles as being the speculative price for a pood of 
flour in the same area. Such a figure will explain the accumulation of money by the 
peasants. That there has been a constant flow of the population of the towns to the 
country is the testimony of all our witnesses, and this has assumed such proportions 
as to contribute powerfully to the paralysis of industry. 

Influences of the War and Revolution on the Mentality of the Peasants. 

256. During the two and a-half years preceding the revolution the peasants 
formed the majority of the Russian army on its 700 mile front, suffered the majority 
of its casualties, and provided the greater part of the 2,000,000 prisoners of war who 
passed into the hands of the Central Powers. It is not without importance that 
most of these prisoners were employed in the fields and returned to Russia with a 
valuable knowledge of modern agricultural methods. Compared with these 
influences, however, those of the revolution have been immeasurably the more 
powerful. The peasants took possession of the land. They formed the Soviets 
throughout rural Russia. They were caught in the vortex of civil war in 
the South, in Siberia, in Northern Russia, and the Provinces of Petrograd and 
Pskov, according to where their lands lay. They fought, some for the Bolsheviks, 
some for the volunteer armies, and some for both, according as the tide of military 
events flowed backwards and forwards. 

257. As economic chaos began to divide the country from the town, and more 
especially in cases where they lived in areas remote or difficult of access, they were 
left more and more to themselves. One of them said to a witness, " the punitive 
expeditions have been more to us than a university." Indeed, if civil war and 
internal chaos are powerful teachers, the whole of this confused period was a great 
university. The experience which it gave was, however, mostly negative — how not 
to do things — none the less, its effects may prove of permanent value, for, although 
unsuccessful political experiments are costly, they may point the way to sounder 
principles of Government in the future. 

258. There is evidence that a peasant party is forming, a party opposed to 
Communism. In the past the peasant has not seem much farther than the confines 
of his village. There are signs now that he is looking farther afield. The following 
story gives an example of greater organising power and self-reliance. 

259. A witness has told us that the peasants in a village not far from Smolensk 
found themselves cut of! from the town and, under the necessity of making some 
provision for the carrying on of local life, they formed a society which came to embrace 
several villages. But, as in the past, they had become accustomed to obtain 
permissions — papers and documents — from the Government representative, they 
wished to secure some form of sanction for their society from the Govern- 
ment of the day. They came into Smolensk and asked the Soviet authorities 
if they might register their society and receive a certificate to that effect. The local 
Bolsheviks seemed to have been astonished and frightened. They said : " you have 
formed a counter-revolutionary society; and you are working against the Soviet 
Government; we will have nothing to do with you." So the peasants returned to 
their village and went on with the work of organising their society without 
troubling about the workers of the town. "It grew and prospered. They have a 
co-oDerative society, and they did what they could to provide for education and other 
needs of the community, assisted by qualified workers who had come into the villages 
from the town. Some time after this Lunacharsky, the People's Commissary for 
Education, paid a visit to Smolensk. The peasants who had organised their society 
heard of his coming. Wishing, therefore, to obtain from the Government some 
recognition of the work they were doing, and hoping to obtain a more sympathetic 
hearing from one of the heads of the Government, than they had from the local 
authorities, they same to see Lunacharsky at Smolensk and laid the case before him. 
Lunacharsky, sincere and enthusiastic, appears to have been carried away with 
ecstasy when they told him what they had done. He declared that they had shown 
themselves to be in the vanguard of the Russian peasantry, and said that he would 
go back and tell Lenin and exhort him to come and see what they had achieved, that 
it might be made widely "known throughout Russia, Lunacharsky went his way and 
the peasants went back well pleased to the rural commune which they had brought 

[5631] ' L 2 


into being, and continued, as they bad begun, developing the life of their society 
within the measure of their opportunity and power. As far as we know, this society 
has not been interfered with. 

Some Results of the Scarcity of Commodities in the Villages. 

260. The peasants have shown considerable resource in adapting themselves to 
the difficult economic situation which arose in the villages, as it became more and 
more difficult to obtain commodities from the towns. In these circumstances, the 

' kustarny " or cottage industries became more widely developed and in new ways. 
For example, we are informed that the peasants in some villages have begun to 
improvise nails and axes, which they fashion as well as they can in a primitive 
manner. In the North- Western Provinces, the peasants have begun extensively 
to work up flax into coarse material which is being utilised for making garments, 
and it is said that primitive attempts at dyeing such materials have been made. 
The setting up of electric lighting stations in the villages has taken place in some 
cases where engineers have left the towns and gone to live in the villages. 

261. We have not seen any official Soviet statistics relating to the diminution 
in the area of land under wheat: With regard to flax, however, which has been 
referred to as a possible valuable export commodity, it is stated in " Economic Life ' 
for the 24th September, No. 212, that the area under flax cultivation in 1913 was 
1,056,974 desyatins, in 1918 536,275 desyatins, and that in 1920 it was 40 per cent, 
lower than in 1918. 

Area under Cultivation of Cereals. 

262. With regard to the area under the cultivation of oats, it is stated in 
" Economic Life," 14th October, No. 229, that in the Government of Tambov, the 
area during 1917 was 632,000 desyatins, in 1918 it had fallen to 450,000, in 1919 
it was 469,000, and 1920 only 190,000 and 70 per cent, less than in 1917. 

263. According to recent information stormy scenes took place at a conference 
of peasants of the Moscow Province held in the Bolshoi (the Great Theatre), 
Moscow, in October 1920. It is said that Lenin addressed the Congress, and that 
his speech was interrupted on several occasions, and that the attacks made by the 
members of the Congress against the Government were so bitter, and that feeling 
rose so high, that the meeting broke up in disorder. If the conditions existing in 
the Moscow Province at the present time are similar to those reported on page 72 
above, it is not remarkable that the Government should have been bitterly attacked. 

264. It will therefore be seen that the peasant question becomes a vital and 
an immediate one. That the Soviet Government understand this is shown by the 
attention which the peasant question received at the 8th All-Russian Congress of 
Soviets in December 1920. It may also be said that it dominated the Congress. It 
is evident that the re-establishment of exchange of commodities between town and 
country is an essential condition to the re-establishment of Russian industry. 

265. Lenin said in his speech to the Congress that the assistance of the peasants 
was ten times more necessary to Russia than it had been during the war. He 
admitted that Russia was still a country of small farmers, and that the peasants 
were not Socialists. He thought, however, that the hardships of the last six years 
had done something to change the peasants' outlook, and that they understood that 
it was impossible for conditions to remain as they were. He informed the members 
of the Congress that they must place under cultivation a larger area than hitherto 
during the coming spring, and there was no hope of their salvation unless that 
economic victory was attained. The members of the Congress " must, therefore, go 
out into the country and tell the peasants that it was impossible to go on freezing 
and dying by starvation indefinitely." " If this continues," he said, " we shall be 
smashed in the next chapter of the war." He admitted that the Soviet Government 
had taken bread from the peasants in exchange for paper money, and declared that 
they should be compensated as soon as industry was restored. For that purpose a 
surplus of agricultural production was needed, and he estimated the annual quantity 
of produce necessary at 300,000,000 poods; 100,000,000, according to the figures 
quoted, more than was available in 1920. Without such a foundation the 


restoration of Russian industry was impossible, and it was absurd even to think of 
the revival of transport. He considered that this necessity justified the taking of 
compulsory measures with a view to inducing the peasant to increase the area of 
land in tillage. 

The measures indicated in this speech formed the basis of the new agrarian 
law, the draft of which was published by the Soviet Government contrary to usual 
practice prior to the meeting of the All-Russian Congress, and according to Lenin's 
speech, has been circulated throughout Russia in order to give an opportunity for its 
discussion among the provincial Soviets. The Soviet Government, therefore, having 
been compelled to borrow from the peasants in the past, often by force, now propose 
to induce the peasant by compulsory measures to increase the area of land under 
cultivation. In this way they hope to place their peasant creditors in a position 
to make increased advances to them, advances which are essential to the feeding of 
the Russian worker and therefore to the re-establishment of Russian industry. 

266. It is hard to see how compulsory measures can be successfully carried into 
effect among a peasant population of 100,000,000. The Soviet Government is 
entering upon a hopeless task if they seriously propose to use coercion. They 
probably look forward to a resumption of trade with other countries and to receiving 
agricultural machinery and manufactured goods with which to satisfy the needs 
of the peasants in some, at least, of the important corn-bearing areas. But, in any 
case, they will not be able to receive such consignments in any quantity until after 
the season's corn has been sown. We doubt the probability of considerable armed 
resistance on the part of the peasant to the agrarian law. There will be, no doubt, 
widespread passive resistance — a weapon in the use of which the peasant showed 
himself a past-master during the old regime — but the time for the Russian peasant 
to play a decisive part in the political history of Russia has scarcely come. If and 
when it comes, it will inevitably take the form of a great revolt against centralisa- 
tion. In so far as the Bolsheviks continue to develop in Russia a policy of extreme 
centralisation, in so far as, in the words of Trotsky, ' the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat, the form of the most merciless State imperatively grasping the lives of 
its citizens on every side ' continues, so much the sooner will the revolt come — 
proceeding from the psychological forces in human nature which Bolshevik 
determinist thought ignores. 

267. There is a story told by one, who had occasion, to study the Russian 
peasant for many years, of how he spoke to an old bearded peasant member of the 
first Duma in 1906. He asked the old peasant which party he thought would win. 
The old man replied, " Every party has its secret. The party which succeeds in 
keeping its secret longest will win, and the party in Russia which will keep its secret 
longest will be the peasants." 

268. The peasant is the enigma, and may prove to be the decisive factor in 
whatever may be the outcome of the Russian revolution. 

The Attitude of the Soviet Government towards Other Countries. 

269. Foreign policy may be said to fall within the scope of this enquiry only in so 
far as it affects political and economic developments in Russia. 

270. The attitude of the Soviet Government to other countries is quite definite. 
The Soviet Government is directed by those who, before the war, were leaders of the 
Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. They made it 
their purpose to overthrow the autocracy and capitalism in Russia. They were, and 
remain, internationalists, for whom the world is divided up not into nations, but 
into classes of oppressors and oppressed. Now, as then, they look forward to a world 
revolution which will overthrow capitalism in all countries. The outbreak of the 
European war in August 1914, and the prolonged and widespread destruction which 
accompanied it, encouraged them to believe that the suffering, exhaustion and 
economic disorganisation caused by the war might precipitate the revolution which 
they hoped for. These hopes were justified in Russia, where the autocracy fell as a 
result of the revolution of February 1917. That revolution the Bolsheviks did not 
make, but both the first revolution and the revolution by which the Bolsheviks them- 
selves rose to power in October 1917, heightened their nopes that a world revolution 


was about to take place. The outbreak of the revolutions in Germany and Austria- 
Hungary inspired in them the belief that revolutions would shortly take place 
in Great Britain and France. 

The Civil War and Intervention. 

271. The Bolsheviks regarded Soviet Russia as the leader in a great struggle for 
the final overthrow of capitalism. When the intervention of the Allies in Northern 
Russia was continued alter the German danger, which evoked it, had disappeared, 
and Allied military assistance was given to the armies of Denikin and Kolchak in the 
civil war, the Soviet Government began to look upon itself as the defender of the 
world revolution against the attacks of capitalist countries, which attacks they 
regarded as unprovoked. 

272. With regard to the effects of intervention, the abundant and almost unani- 
mous testimony of our witnesses shows that the military intervention of the Allies in 
Russia assisted to give strength and cohesion to the Soviet Government, and, by so 
doing, achieved exactly the opposite of what it was intended to effect. 

Non-Bolshevik Views on Intervention. 

273. W r e are informed that the military intervention of the Allies in Russia was 
alw r ays regarded with misgivings by the majority of non-Bolshevik Russian Socialists, 
notwithstanding the fact that a bitter persecution was directed against the latter by 
the Soviet Government. Dater, when, following the military success of the anti- 
Bolshevik forces, the White leaders showed themselves unable to organise a Democratic 
Administration, their rule was undermined and finally overthrown by the very popula- 
tion which had welcomed them as deliverers from the Bolsheviks. Owing to these 
events the Soviet Government rallied to itself large numbers of other classes. This 
event was accompanied by another change in the attitude of Russians towards the 
Allied countries. There is evidence to show that, up to the time of military inter- 
vention, the majority of the Russian intellectuals were well disposed towards 
the Allies, and more especially to Great Britain, but that later the attitude of the 
Russian people towards the Allies became characterised by indifference, distrust and 

The Third or Communist International. 

274. In March 1919 the Third or Communist International was established at 
Moscow. The object of this organisation is to advocate international revolution on 
Communist lines and everywhere actively to encourage, support and participate in 
movements directed to the overthrow of existing political and economic institutions 
in other countries. 

275. In the decision of the majority of the Independent Socialist Party in 
Germany, and of the majority of the French Socialist Party to join it, the Communist 
International has already achieved successes; and in Italy, although less successful 
at the recent Socialist Congress, they have secured a considerable number of adherents. 

276. It has been contended, more especially in a note, dated the 5th February, 
1921, addressed by the Soviet Government to His Majesty's Government, that there 
is nothing in common between the Communist International and the Soviet 
Government. The course of our enquiry has shown that — • 

(a.) The aims of the Communist International were held by the Bolshevik Section of the 
Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party before the war. 

(/».) The Communist International was founded by prominent members of the Central 
Committee of the Bolshevik or Communist Party in Bussia to-day. 

(r.) Zinoviev, the president of the Communist International, is a member of the Political Bureau 
of the Central Committee of the Eussian Communist Party, which has hitherto directed 
the policy of the Soviet Government. 

{(1 .) According to a witness who was present at the Baku Muhammadan Congress of Eastern 
Peoples, organised by the Communist International, in August 1920, elaborate prepara- 
tions are being made under the direction of Stasova, a female member of the Central 
Committee of the Eussian Communist Party and an active associate of the Communist 
International, to organise a literary propaganda, to be published in several Eastern 
languages, with a view to encouraging sedition in India and the overthrow of British rule 
in that country. 

(e.) Jan Berzin, a Lett, who was appointed the Diplomatic representative of the Soviet Govern- 
ment in Helsingfors, in Januarv 1921, was secretarv of the Communist International 
during 1919-1920, 


277. We have also noted that the Soviet Government have not advanced any 
proof of the statement which they have made that there is no connection between the 
Communist International and the Soviet Government. While bearing in mind that 
the Second Socialist International was maintained by the subscriptions of its mem- 
bers, we have been unable to ascertain whence are derived the extensive funds upon 
which the Communist International carries on its work. It is not dear to us whether 
or no the Communist International is a body distinct from the Soviet Government, 
and therefore a private organisation, nor if so, how, in a country where all supplies 
are nominally collected and distributed by the State, the Communist International is 
able to obtain office accommodation, supplies of paper and printing materials, of food 
for its staff and of money for paying the wages of the staff and for defraying the 
general expenses of their activities. In these circumstances we do not feel any 
confidence in the repudiation by the Soviet Government of any connection with the 
Third or Communist International. 

Other Aspects of Russian Life. 

278. There are other aspects of Russian life which impinge upon the scope of a 
report upon political and economic conditions in Russia. With regard to some of 
these aspects, notably education, religion and. law and justice, we have received both 
oral ana documentary evidence. The information we have obtained is, however, far 
from complete, and we do not therefore feel justified in attempting to treat them in 
detail, and confine ourselves to the following brief observations upon them. 

(1.) Education. 

279. The evidence shows that — 

(a.) A grave undermining of discipline in the schools took place during the earl}' 
months of the Bolshevik revolution, and that discipline has not yet been 

(b.) The attendance at school is irregular, and this is due partly to indiscipline 
and partly to illness and other causes.* 

(c.) Owing to debility caused by malnutrition, the pupils are unable to derive 
adequate benefit from the instruction given. 

(d.) Stocks of books, slates, pencils and other necessary material have become 
exhausted and the lack of them is greatly felt. 

(e.) With regard to adult education, great efforts have been made to teach 
illiterates to read and write, and with some success, especially in the case 
of soldiers serving the Red army. 

(/.) Young children are treated with the utmost humanity, and the best provision 
possible in existing circumstances is made for their comfort. 

(g.) Child education in Soviet Russia is based upon an attempt to dissolve the 
ties hitherto existing between parent and child, and children are removed 
from the care of their parents soon after birth; we have received no 
information on the moral and physical effects of this policy. 

(h.) Education, both child and adult, is not merely secular, but directly anti- 
religious in bias. 

(i.) Having regard to the effort of the Soviet Government to develop education 
on a national scale never attempted previously, the staff of teachers is 
quite inadequate. 

(j.) The existing staff of teachers was actually depleted, partly owing to the 
oppression directed by the Bolsheviks against those whom they regarded 
as belonging to the bourgeoisie ; but the deficiency of teachers thus created 
has been partly made good owing to the improved rations recently 
accorded to members of the teaching profession. 

280. We derive from the evidence submitted to us with regard to education the 
impression that (1) there is no question as to the enthusiasm and sincerity shown by 
the Soviet Government in the cause of education, and that (2) this enthusiasm and 
sincerity in combatting ignorance is directed primarily not to assist the free expres- 
sion of ideas and thus to promote intellectual progress, but to develop the human 
mind as a machine for the reception and exposition of the Soviet Government's 
conception of Communism. 

*- A pathetic case was reported to us of two children who regularly attended school on alternate 
days. The reason of this was that there was only one pair of boots between the two children. 


(2.) Religion. 

281. At the end of October 1917 Church lands and live-stock and appurtenances 
belonging to the Church, were confiscated and nationalised. By a decree dated the 
28th December, 1918, the separation of Church and State was formally made and " all 
properties of the existing Church and of religious societies .... declared national 
property. ' ' On the one hand, the attitude of the Church was at first marked by active 
agitation against the new Government, and the Patriarcl) of Moscow published a 
hostile encyclical, which was, by his orders, read in the churches during the winter 
months of 1918-19. On the other hand, the carrying out of the policy of confiscation 
under a Government desirous of eradicating religious belief and regarding religion 
as an institution used in support of capitalism was undoubtedly attended by wanton 
destruction and desecration and by active persecution of the priesthood. Many 
priests were shot on the charge of conspiring against the Government and the clergy 
were also made liable to conscription to the Red army and also to compulsory labour. 
Many were actually called upon to perform the lowest and most menial work and 
were deprived of their food cards if they faltered in the discharge of the unaccus- 
tomed tasks imposed upon them. We are informed that anger and hostility was 
aroused among the people by the desecration of sacred relics and the persecution of 
the clergy, and that this has had the effect of making the people draw nearer to the 
clergy and has, in the countryside, sometimes resulted in the peasants voluntarily 
restoring to the Church land which they had seized from it. 

282. The active agitation on the part of the Church against the Soviet Govern- 
ment led to an increase of persecution directed against the priesthood. Both sides 
seem to have grown weary of the conflict during 1919 and a sort of tacit truce appears 
to have grown up. The hostile encyclical was withdrawn and the Church has since 
confined herself to religious and moral teaching. Cinema shows, organised by the 
Government and representing the desecration of sacred relics, have had to be with- 
drawn owing to outbursts of popular indignation. It is said that the general 
attendance at church has recently become larger than at any previous time, and that 
the general effect of the widespread misery prevailing has been to increase rather 
than decrease the religious fervour of the people. At the present time the Soviet 
Government has discontinued the policy of active persecution and insult to religion, 
and religious services are allowed to take place as long as the pulpit is not used for 
the purpose of anti-Bolshevik propaganda. The freedom of religious observance 
guaranteed by these decrees of the 28th December is, as far as we have been able to 
discover, generally allowed at the present time. 

(3.) Law and Justice. 

283. Turning to the question of law and justice, we have decided after careful 
consideration that no useful purpose would be served by setting out the substance of 
the decrees abolishing the old courts and setting up a new system of judicial and 
revolutionary tribunals. No information of any value has reached us as to how the 
new tribunals are actually working, except in a few isolated cases such as the trials of 
Countess Panin and Mr. Keeling referred to in our interim report. We have, indeed, 
no clear idea of what are the legal relations of Russian citizens among themselves 
either as regards personal property or conduct, nor have we seen any indication as to 
whether the individual can enforce against the Government in the law courts a claim 
for food and wages to which he appears to be legally entitled. The rights of life, 
liberty and property have been profoundly changed by the nationalisation and con- 
fiscation of the means of production ; the sale and purchase of commodities has become 
a crime, and many cases are reported by the Extraordinary Commission in their 
bulletins in which this crime has been punished by death ; and new decrees directed 
to the dissolution or profound modification of what were formerly considered natural 
ties, and to the disruption of home life, have been issued. 

284. It is not easy to grasp the social meaning of these changes, and the informa- 
tion at our disposal is so imperfect and fragmentary that we feel unable to form any 
judgment as to how far there exist just laws in Russia at the present time *nd how 
far the existing laws are administered without fear and partiality among all classes 
of the population. 


Economic Section. 

A Sketch of the Economic Situation in Russia, 1914-1919. 

The Economic Effects in Russia of the European War. 

285. The inability of the economic organisation of the Russian Empire to support 
the burden of external war has been referred to in the political section, paragraph 37), 
and its political effects recorded. To pass shortly in review the economic aspects 
of this failure is an essential antecedent to an understanding of the economic 
situation in Russia to-day. 

286. In the course of the period 1914-1917, three factors emerged which 
contributed, in varying degrees, to create a partial economic breakdown which 
precipitated the revolutionary outbreak of February 1917. They were: — 

(1.) The mobilisation of the army. 
(2.) The deterioration of transport. 
(3.) The dislocation of industry. 

Strain of the War on Railways. 

287. The first of these factors necessarily exerted a considerable influence upon 
the other two. The railway system in Russia has never been proportionate to the 
extent of the territory of the Empire, and its equipment has never been sufficient 
for the needs of the traffic. It was often impossible to relieve famine in one Govern- 
ment by transporting to the distressed areas surplus stocks of grain in others. The 
mobilisation of the army and the diversion of a considerable part of the transport 
material to military purposes did not immediately affect the ordinary transport 
services. In 1915, however, the results of mobilisation became more apparent as 
the scope of operations widened. The increasing demands of the army were satisfied 
without regard to the importance of retaining the services of the highly trained 
administrative staff and skilled railway workers. The results of this are seen in 
the failure of railway administration to effect economies in running which the 
exigencies of the military situation necessitated, and in the difficulty of keeping 
pace with repairs. The defeats in the field and the occupation of broad territories 
by the enemy occasioned a considerable loss in locomotives and rolling-stock which 
had to be replaced at the cost of diminishing the home services. In January 1916 
the number of locomotives in running order was 16,000, showing a considerable 
falling off on the number available for service at the outbreak of war. Although by 
great endeavours the number was advanced to 16,800 by the autumn of that year, 
the demand far outran the supply as each succeeding month went by. From this 
time onwards the decline in transport efficiency became progressive. 

Industrial Organisation of Russia inadequate to meet the Demands of the Army — 
Industry disorganised by Errors in Mobilisation. 

288. Although Russia possessed a certain number of factories supplied with the 
most modern plant and machinery, industry was far less highly developed there as 
a whole than in the other great countries of Europe. The industrial organisation 
working on or capable of being adapted to war purposes was quite inadequate 
without outside help to meet the demands of armies operating on a front of 700 miles 
over a period of years. The incompetence and corruption in the Government, 
disclosed in the course of the war, was revealed more especially in its industrial 
administration. The efficiency of the industrial fabric was further impaired by the 
disorganising influence of the irrational system of mobilisation whereby hundreds 
of thousands of men were taken indiscriminately from industry, and drafted into 
the army, although accommodation for them was insufficient and it was in many cases 
impossible to provide them with the equipment necessary for their training. 

[5631] M 


Impaired Transport caused Food, Shortage in Petrograd and Moscow. 

289. Towards the end of 1916 it became evident that the transport system was no 
longer able to maintain at one and the same time, the distribution of food supplies 
to the armies and the civil population. In January and February 1917 the food 
crisis in Petrograd and Moscow became acute, and long bread queues were to be seen 
daily in both cities. It was the bread riots of the Petrograd workmen which formed 
the prelude to the revolution of February 1917. 

Fall in Production. Only partial up to February 1917. 

290. Up to the time of the first revolution, however, the food shortage, the fall in 
production, and the general disturbance of life caused by war conditions were greater 
than, but still comparable to, the conditions existing in other belligerent countries. 
Houses w T ere still warmed through the rigorous Russian winter, and the fuel supplies 
sufficed to keep practically all the factories at work. The food shortage in January 
and February 1917 to which we have alluded was far removed from starvation, the 
price of bread had indeed doubled during the few months immediately preceding 
the revolution, but it compared not unfavourably with the price in other countries. 
The shortage of production in the factories and the deterioration in transport had 
not assumed catastrophic proportions. The general life of the people went on, to 
all appearance, largely as before. 

Soviets established in Industry, February 1917. 

291. The most important result of the first revolution from the point of view of 
its effects upon the economic organisation of Russia was the almost universal 
establishment of Soviets or Committees in industry. The Soviets sprang up 
spontaneously in the towns and in the country-side all over Russia. In the first 
months of the revolution the Petrograd Soviet found itself in the position of a central 
organisation to which the representatives of Soviets from all parts of Russia turned 
for counsel. It was the only body which might have exercised control over the 
Soviets and have introduced some semblance of order into the great number of 
revolutionary committees. But it would in any case have been a task almost 
impossible of accomplishment, and any possibility there might have been of the 
Petrograd Soviet controlling the Soviet movement, and giving order and cohesion 
to it, was destroyed in virtue of the complete chaos which prevailed in the Petrograd 
Soviet itself. 

Undefined Powers of Factory Soviets. 

292. The powers and competence of the Soviets remained indefinite. It was not 
known whether the Soviets which were set up in the factories were organisations for 
regulating the conditions and hours of labour, or whether they had political functions 
as well. In point of fact, the factory Soviets arrogated to themselves unlimited 
functions, both economic and political, and the factories became in the majority of 
cases political battlefields upon which the class war was carried on. 

Organisation of Industry undermined. 

293. In these circumstances it is evident that the organisation of industry as it 
had existed in Russia up to this time was shaken to its foundation. A rapid fall of 
production began. 

The Revolution and the Peasants. 

294. From thei first days of the revolution the peasants began to seize the estates 
of the landowners, and were later encouraged in their action by the Bolshevik 
propagandists who made their way into the villages during the summer of 1917. 
This occasioned a fall in the supply of agricultural produce and a diminution in 
the area of land under cultivation. 

Dissolution of the Army. — Deterioration of Transport. 

295. The results of the revolution in the army were to destroy what remnant of 
discipline had survived the demoralising effects of enormous losses sustained against 
the enemy, and of the general disorganisation which prevailed both at the front and 


the rear of the army. A continuous stream of deserters began to flow from the front. 
The trains all over Russia were overcrowded with them and transport became further 
dislocated in consequence. As the summer of 1917 wore on the inability of the railways 
to convey existing supplies of grain from the villages to the towns was clearly 

Effect of the Revolution on the Cost of Living. 

296. The general economic effect of these disruptive influences upon the life of 
the people was that, by the time of the revolution of October 1917, the cost of living 
was five times as high as it was in 1916. 

The October Revolution and the Policy of the Soviet Government. 

297. The members of the Soviet Government, which was formed after the 
revolution of October 1917, were placed at a greater disadvantage than their pre- 
decessors in power as regards knowledge and experience of Government. The effect 
of this handicap was made more apparent by their precipitate action in carrying out 
a drastic policy of confiscation and nationalisation. It was further enhanced by the 
fact that they were deserted by practically all the former " governing" classes. 

Socialisation of Land and certain Industrial Enteritises. 

298. The " Socialisation " of land was promulgated by decree on the 26th 
October, 1917. "Confiscation" of certain private enterprises for definite quasi- 
punitive reasons took place in December of 1917 and January of 1918. ''Sequestration" 
of the Mining and Metallurgical Union (a capitalist company), for definite reasons 
purporting to be of a judicial nature, was ordered on the 16th February, 1918. From 
January to May 1918 nationalisation of specific business enterprises was decreed 
from time to time, and general nationalisation, with certain exceptions, was 
prescribed in June of the same year. 

Factories under the new Regime. 

299. In the factories the " collegiate " system was introduced with a view to 
co-ordinating and controlling the factory Soviets, which had hitherto exercised 
unlimited authority. The members of these collegia were not infrequently chosen 
from the least instructed industrially and the most violent politically. They were 
responsible for the administration of the factories. 

Lack of A dministrative Organisation and, A bility. 

300. It is evident that the Soviet Government, owing to the conditions of chaos 
existing on their advent to power and to their lack of administrative experience 
were not in a position to organise quickly the supply of raw materials, fuel and other 
necessaries of manufacture essential to the maintenance and raising of production. 
In these circumstances it would have been difficult for them even to arrest the process 
of economic disintegration. The drastic carrying out of their programme of the 
nationalisation of all the means of production only served to accelerate it. 

Food Shortage in the Towns. 

301. Reference has already been made to the shortage of food in the towns before 
the October revolution. The Bolsheviks established a People's Commissariat for 
Food, to which in theory all provision shops were subordinated and by which all 
supplies were controlled. Government shops were opened at which people might 
purchase commodities and thus supplement the Government rations which were 
issued in accordance with the plans of the Commissariat of Food. In practice, 
however, it was almost impossible to obtain anything at these shops. The general 
results of the food policy of the Soviet Government were that nobody except highly 
placed Soviet officials, the Red army and the children had enough food to enable 
them to live in comfort and health. Many literally starved. At the same time it 
became a penal offence, according to the Soviet law, to purchase food in the open 
market. As, however, the ration, when available was insufficient to support life, and 
the supplies of foo'd in Government shops were generally bespoken for favoured 

[5631] M 2 


individuals,* no choice remained to the ordinary citizen between starvation and 
breaking the law. M. Farbman, t in an article in the " Manchester Guardian " of 
the 7th January, 1921, states that the Bolshevik administration only provided 
15 per cent, of the food consumed in the first eighteen months of rationing. Organised 
speculation thus arose and ultimately overcame all attempts of the Soviet authorities 
to suppress it. 

Removal of Incentive to Production. 

302. Many of our witnesses have described the effect of these changes both in their 
psychologic and economic bearings. The incentive to production which had been 
present under the old conditions of private enterprise disappeared. The property 
of bourgeois owners was confiscated, and managers, foremen and experts, who were 
allowed and willing to remain at work, had no object in making their work a financial 
success, except in the rare cases in which they were class-conscious Communists. The 
town artisan was paid partly in kind and partly in paper-money, a wage upon which 
it was impossible for him to live, and appears to have received the wage during the 
early period of Bolshevik rule whether there was any work for him to do or none, and 
conditions of life became such that large numbers of artisans and workers returned 
to the villages with which many of them, according to Russian habit, had never lost 

The Soviet Policy in Agriculture. 

303. While making it their object to dispossess the landowners, the Soviet Govern- 
ment did not sanction the division of the landed estates among the peasants as their 
private property, but regarded the land in general as being the common property of 
the whole people, and the State as having the right to deprive of his land the peasant 
who showed himself a bad worker. In theory they proposed to institute a system 
whereby the peasant gives to the Government a certain percentage of his surplus 
stock, graduated according to his standard of prosperity. It was hoped thereby to 
remove those inequalities of fortune which had led to the formation of a class of 
wealthy peasants and of a class of poor peasants, who were either landless or 
whose land was so small in area or lacking in fertility as to reduce them 
to a starvation level of living. In return for these supplies the Government 
proposed to provide the peasants with agricultural machines, implements and 
articles of common necessity which they needed. Stocks of these articles were 
in a depleted state at the time of the October revolution, and they continued 
to decrease until they are now almost exhausted. It became, therefore, increas- 
ingly difficult for the Government to carry out their own part of the contract 
with the peasants by which they hoped to strengthen weakening links in the chain 
uniting town and country. M. Farbman states that the Bolsheviks collected at the 
nationalised factories and workshops goods to the value of 1,000 million roubles for 
exchange with the peasants, but that the exchange never took place. The factory 
committees refused in many cases to part with the goods, and the railway committees 
appropriated most of what was allowed to go. The small quantities that reached the 
provincial food committees and the peasants were often sold to speculators. In actual 
practice the exigencies of the economic situation in the towns led the Soviet Govern- 
ment to requisition supplies from the peasantry, who were unwilling to sell their 
produce in exchange for paper money, which was rapidly depreciating 
in value in the towns owing to its unlimited issue and to the exhaus- 
tion of stocks of ' commodities. Attempts at requisition led to the arnaed 
conflicts between the authorities and the peasants, and were often followed by 
punitive expeditions into the villages. The Soviet Government at first encouraged 
the establishment of Committees of the Village Poor in the country districts, and the 

* Note. — A report of the Bureau for Receiving Complaints, attached to the Moscow Extra- 
ordinary Commission, dated October 1920, is interesting in this connection. The following is a 
quotation and refers to a revision of the Soviet offices in the town of Podolsk: — 

" The members of the Ispolkom (Executive Committee) and the employees are the first 
to be supplied with furniture and the available rlats and houses are placed at their disposal, 
but the needs of the workmen are ignored. All the members of the Is-polkom receive an extra 
ration. Many complaints are received from the families of the Red soldiers as they do not 
receive— often for months — the pensions allowed to them." 

t M. Farbman, a Russian subject, went to Soviet Russia in 1020 as the representative of the 
"Manchester Guardian." 


dictatorship of these committees over the more prosperous peasants affords a parallel 
to the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie in the towns. The move- 
ment was short lived, for the peasants felt that its ultimate effect would tell against 
the interests of the peasants as a whole, and the villages became solidly united against 
the requisitioning designs of the Bolsheviks. The dictatorship of Committees of the 
Village Poor proved abortive as an instrument of the class struggle in the country- 
side. Trotsky writes in " Terrorism and Communism " that the class struggle deals 
heavy blows 'at industry. In this case it has dealt serious blows at agricultural 
production, at a time when the workers were beginning to go hungry in the towns. 

Conclusions, Decline of Production, 1914-19. 

304. The conclusions to which this introductory survey points are — 

(1.) That production, stimulated in certain branches of industry and depressed 
in others during the war, began perceptibly to fall after the revolution of 
February 1917, and continued to do so up to the time of the Bolshevik 
revolution in October 1917. 

(2.) That from October 1917 to the end of 1919, the period immediately 
preceding the time to which we have endeavoured to give particular 
attention in the course of the following pages, the fall in production was 
swift and catastrophic. 

(a.) The stocks of manufactured goods in the towns became so low as to 
react unfavourably upon the exchange of commodities between 
town and country. 

(&.) The peasant was no longer able to obtain for the paper money he 
received for his produce articles of common use of which he stood 
in need, and ceased to bring his goods to town. 

(3.) That, having due regard to the causes of economic disorganisation antece- 
dent to the rise of the Bolsheviks to power, the attempts of the Bolsheviks 
to realise the class war in the towns by a precipitate nationalisation of 
industry and in the villages by the establishment of the dictatorship of 
the village poor were the principal contributory causes of the gradual 
separation of town from country. 

Nationalisation of Industry. 

Rykov's Report on Nationalisation. 

305. In the course of a report delivered to the Moscow Congress by the Supreme 
Council of People's Economy in January 1920, A. I. Rykov, the president of the 
council, made the following statement : — 

' The nationalisation of industry has been carried out pretty fully. In 1918, 1,125 
factories and works were nationalised, and by the end of 1919 the number was about 4,000. 
This means that nearly all industry had passed into the hands of the State (Soviet) organs, 
while private industry has been destroyed, as former statistics show that there were up to 10,000 
industrial undertakings, including cottage industries. These latter are not subject to 
nationalisation, and the 4,000 nationalised factories and works include not only the larger 
concerns, but likewise the bulk of the average industrial concerns of Soviet Kussia. 

' Of these 4,000 undertakings about 2,000 are working at present. All the rest have been 
closed. The number of operatives is estimated approximately at 1,000,000, which is between 
one-third and one-fifth of the numbers of the proletariat in 1914. Both as regards the number 
of hands and the number of undertakings in operation the Russian manufacturing industry is 
likewise undergoing a crisis." 

306. We have obtained from witnesses information, both documentary and verbal, 
regarding nationalised industries in textiles, electro-technical, soap and oil, rubber, 
leather, locomotives, paper and sugar. 

(a.) Cotton Textiles. 
Cotton Spindles. 

307. The following table of the number of cotton spindles throughout Russia 
working during the first six months of 1920 appeared in No. 218 of the paper 

1 Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " ("Economic Life ") for the 1st October. " Economic 


Life ' is the official publication of the Supreme Council of People's Economy in 
Moscow : — 

1020. Spindles. 

January ... ... ... ... ... ... 526,351* 

March .. 

May .. 






Before the war the total number of cotton spindles throughout Russia was 
9,220.000. The number of cotton spindles in Soviet Russia to-day may be estimated 
at 7,500,000 spindles. 

Cotton Yarn and Cloth. 

308. According to " Economic Life " for the 1st October, No. 218, the output in 
cotton yarn for the first half of the year 1920 was 207,000 poods as against 10,500,000 
poods for the first half of 1914. 

During the first half-year of 1920 the number of looms working was as follows : — 

1920. Looms. 



March . . 





The number of power looms in Russia in 1910 was 213,179 (" Russian Year 
Book," 1916, p. 144). The total number of looms in Russia at the present time may 
be estimated at approximately 170,000. In 1919, 1,103,870 poods of yarn were 
worked and 250,371,000 arzhens of coarse cloth were manufactured. This is at the 
rate of 20,864,250 arzhens per month for 1919. The output in January and February 
1920 was 9,431,000 arzhens and 10,550,000 respectively. So far as we can discover, 
the last figure represents about 2 per cent, of the normal production before the war. 

Witnesses on Cotton Factories. 

309. The following statements were made by our witnesses regarding the produc- 
tion of the textile factories with which they w T ere associated : — 

1. Balashinsky. 

Mr. R. Lunn, a mill manager, whose firm did the cotton spinning for the Balashinsky 
Manufacturing Company, informed us that of 190,000 spindles they had only 12,000 spindles 
working in March 1920. The concern was nationalised in November 1918. 

2. Konshin. 

Mr. J. Parkinson, chief engineer to the firm of N. N. Konshin, at Serpukhov, informed us 
that in March 1920 the weaving mills and dye works were shut down, but that at the time he 
left they were able to keep about one-quarter of the spinning machinery running, and produce 
about one-eighth of their original production. 

3. Morozov. 

Mr. J. E. Charnock, the inside manager of Vikul Morozov, at Orekhovo Zuevo, stated that 
the works, which had about 150,000 spinning spindles and 22,000 doubling spindles, were 
nationalised in 1918, and entirely closed down by February 1919. At the Savva Morozov 's works 
they had five preparations working out of thirty-one. 

4. Vysokovsky. 

Mr. Herbert Fullard, the manager of the Vysokovsky mills, containing 63,000 spinning 
spindles, 3,500 doubling spindles, and 2,040 looms, stated that when he left in March 1920 there 
were 26,000 spindles and 900 looms still working. They went over to one shift about April 1919 
when their production was about 20 per cent, of the normal production. 

*The figures for these months given in " Economic Life " of the 27th June, 1920, No. 136, are 
as follows : — 

1920. Spindles. 

January ... ... ... ... ... ... 408,487 

March ... ... ... ... ... ... 531,420 

April ... ... ... ... ... ... 319,055 

(Whereof 90,000 were idle during the whole of March.) 


5. Hubbard's Printing Mills. 

Mr. Wm. Hill, the manager of Messrs. Hubbard's cotton and printing mills near 1'etrograd, 
stated that 'they were working up to the 8th March, 1919, when they shut down as they had no 
fuel. They were nationalised after they had stopped producing and never got going again. 

6. Morozov's Tverskaya. 

Mr. J. J. Wild, textile manager of Morozov Tverskaya factory of about 175,000 spindles and 
5,000 looms, stated that when he left in the early part of 1920 they were " doing their best to 
get 50,000 spindles going." 

7. Egorievsk. 

Mr. Ealph Wright, textile manager of mills at Egorievsk, informed us that their mill was 
stopped completely about August 1919. 

8. ZundeVs Print Works. 

. Mr. Joshua Grundy, head mechanic at Emil Zundel's, the largest print works in Russia, 
informed us that they stopped work in March 1919. 

Number o\f Cotton Mills Working and Idle. 

310. In " Economic Life," dated the 9th October, 1920, it is stated that sixty- 
four cotton mills were running, employing 86,068 workpeople, and that 131 mills 
were standing at which 69,425 people were employed, although the mills were idle. 
No indication of production at the mills running is given in the article. 

(b.) Woollen Textiles. 

311. According to " Economic Life," No. 236, dated the 22nd October, 1920, 

Russia used to import before the war 3,000,000 poods per annum of foreign wool. 

The outbreak of war led to a cessation of import of wool, but we learn from the 

' Russian Year Book ' '' of 1916 that, " thanks to measures taken in due time for 

ascertaining the available stocks of wool and its distribution amongst the factories 
working for the Government, a wool famine was averted." On the 1st January. 
1915, 4 per cent, of the woollen mills had stopped, 27 per cent, had reduced their 
production, and 7 per cent, had increased their output. Through 1915 the factories 
running continued to work at high pressure. (' ; Russian Year Book " for 1916.) 

Woollen Factories in 1920. 

312. ' Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920, No. 136, states that there were 
in 1920 111 nationalised factories, and that only the small ones had not been 
nationalised. The number of workmen was 43,472, and of other employees 4,230. 
The mills " which ought to be working " possessed about 60 per cent, of the spindles 
and 42-5 per cent, of the looms in existence, and 26-8 per cent, of the dyeing vats. 

A later issue of " Economic Life," dated the 9th October, 1920, gives the numbei 
of woollen mills running as 80 and of those idle as 34. 

Thornton Mills. 

Mr. Sidney Mackie, who left Russia in March 1920, and was formerly English 
correspondent of the Thornton Woollen Mills Company of Petrograd, where 4,000 
to 5,000 operatives were employed, said that there were very large stocks in hand at 
that time. When the mill was nationalised in December 1918 very little was being 
produced. The sales were almost entirely made out of stocks, and they consisted 
mainly of black cloth for the navy and khaki for the army. 

In "Economic Life," No. 226 (10th October, 1920), it is stated that "the 
systematic and long-continued depletion of stock (of wool) makes it difficult to 
supply the mills, as they cannot get the assortment they require." 

Decline in Wool G.rowing. 

313. The difficulties referred to in the preceding paragraph appear to arise from 
the universal decline throughout Russia of wool growing. In " Economic Lite," 
No. 236, dated the 22nd October, 1920, it is stated : " Wool growing turned out to 
be the weakest spot in national economy, and to be the industry most severely affected 
by the results of the economic decay '!'.".'[ Just now the position has become almost 
critical." The wool requirements of the industry are stated to be 1,670,000 poods, 


and the allocation by the People's Production Committee for the year 1920-21 to 
have been only 1,240,000 poods. A deficit is thus shown of nearly half a million 
poods, even if the collections of wool prove entirely successful. The same paper 
states that a conference on wool growing had been summoned, that numerous 
invitations had been sent out, that in many cases these invitations failed to elicit 
a reply, and finally, that the Don Soviet of People's Economy, situated in the very 
centre of the wool-growing region of the Republic, replied that it had no information 
on the position of local wool growing. 

(c.) Linen Factories. 

314. Out of 85 factories working flax 48 were running, according to " Economic 
Life ' of the 9th October, 1920. The number of workpeople employed in the 
running factories appears to have been between 48,000 and 50,000 at that time. We 
have been unable to obtain particulars of production. 

(d.) Hemp Factories. 

315. " Economic Life " of the 9th October, 1920, No. 225, states that there were 
18 hemp factories running, and that on the 1st July 15 of them employed 4,667 
workpeople. The numbers normally required at these factories were 9,617. 

(e.) Silk. 

316. The silk industry before the war included more than 270 enterprises 
possessing 8,500 mechanical looms, 7,000 hand looms, and 271,000 twisting machines. 
The number of workmen employed in the industry exceeded 37,000. According to 
" Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920, 90 factories containing 7,527 mechanical 
looms, 6,719 hand looms, and 87,326 spindles were running in January 1919, but of 
the full complement only 2,467 mechanical looms and 4,646 hand looms were working. 
The workmen numbered 8,280. On the 1st January, 1920, out of 49 nationalised 
factories only 32 with 2,000 looms were working. The restricted output of the 
working factories is explained by the shortage of fuel and raw materials. 

(f.) Electro-Technical. 

ol7. In the electro-technical industries at Petrograd a large fall in production 
has also taken place, as the following quotations from the Petrograd " Pravda," 
No. 138, giving the figures for July 1920, will show : — 

" The Dek Electric Works have 60 men at work, being 20 per cent, of the labour required. 
The supply of fuel is 60 per cent, of that necessary, 12 per cent, of the installation had been 
utilised. The output is only 18 per cent, of the programme. Ericsson's Works have 236 men. 
The utilisation of the installation is 17 per cent. At the Siemens, Schuckert Works, 467 men are 
at work, being 75 per cent, of the labour needed. The supply of fuel is 45 per cent. The 
utilisation of the installation is 20 per cent., and the output is 23 per cent, of the programme. 
Geissler's W T orks have 203 men; their output is 40 per cent, of the programme. The Siemens 
Works have 210 men, their fuel supply is 25 per cent, and their output 16 per cent, of the 

It should be noted that these are percentages of the " programme " and not of 
pre-war production. The programme is calculated on a low estimate of what should 
be possible, taking all surrounding conditions at the present time into account, and 
is often a mere fraction of former output. 

(g.) Soap and Oil. 

o,18. We were informed by Mr. Bennett, the active partner in Russia of 
Messrs. Wm. Miller and Co.'s stearine and soap factories, that they stopped at the 
beginning of 1919, with the exception of the brewery (where malt coffee was being 
made), and an oil mill where the production was between 5 and 10 per cent, of the 
normal for that mill, or about 3 per cent, of the normal production of all the firm's 
oil mills. 

According to the " Izvestiya," No. 133, " the second State soap-boiling factory 
is working slowly owing to the want of fats. The output of the factory is only 
10,000 poods per month. The number of workers and specialists in the factory is 
only 70, and even these are called upon for several days at a time to work at unloading 


(h.) Rubber. 

319. The present output of the rubber industry constitutes about 5 per cent, of 
the normal production. (" Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920.) 

(i.) Leather. 

320. According to " Economic Life " of the 5th October, 1920, the production 
in the tanneries for the first six months of the year 1920 was 135,000 large hides 
and 207,000 small hides per month, as against a normal pre-war production of 
785,000 large hides and 954,000 small hides. 

Hides and Boots. 

321. A later issue of " Economic Life,' 1 dated the 9th October, 1920, states that 
" the programme " for the first six months of 1920, comprised a total of 1,200,000 
large hides and 2,800,000 small ones. In the first four months (January to April) 
the deliveries of dressed skins amounted to 684,960 large skins and 1,056.400 small 
ones. The failure to complete the programme is explained by shortage of fuel, 
labour, tanning materials and chemicals. The article from which these figures are 
quoted speaks of the "catastrophic drop " in the collection of hides in 1919, but 
states that there has been some improvement in 1920. In pre-war times there was 
a large import of heavy raw hides from America and India. 

Particulars of the programme for the manufacture of boots as compared witii 
the actual out-turn shows that only 50 per cent, is likely to be realised. Only 50 per 
cent, of the schedule of the manufacture of leather for driving belts, valves and other 
technical purposes was accomplished in the first six months of 1920. 

(j.) Output of New Locomotives. 

a22. The production of the Sormovo Locomotive Works, according to Mr. W. R. 
Pickersgill, who had been assistant to the chief manager of the locomotive 
department for twenty-four years, fell from about 170 locomotives a year in pre- 
revolution time to 16 for the year 1919, and he thought that the output of new engines 
would shortly cease entirely. We learn from " Economic Life," No. 283, dated the 
16th December, 1920, that the programme of production of new railway engines at 
these works for the second half of 1920 was 8, but that none had been delivered up to 
that date. 

(k.) Payer and Sugar. 

323. According to Dr. Ballod,* who was in Moscow from the 2nd May to tne 
12th July, 1920, the production of paper in Russia has decreased from 19,000,000 
poods to 2,200,000 in 1919; and in the same year only one-seventh of the peace-time 
output of sugar was obtained. Access to the Ukraine has greatly increased the 
opportunity of obtaining sugar for Soviet Russia in 1920. 

(1.) Railways. 

324. Before leaving the question of nationalisation of industry, it is necessary 
to refer to the question of railways, in regard to which we have inserted a memo- 
randum in Appendix IV. The number of locomotives in running order available 
for the purposes of Soviet Russia decreased from 16,800 in January 1917 to under 
4,000 in January 1920. In June, July and August of 1920 the number of locomotives 
in sound condition was claimed to be between 6,500 and 7,000. This recovery was 
due in part to the recovery of railway lines and material by the Soviet Government 
and in part to an intensive effort to deal with repairs in the spring and summer of 
last year. We are unable to say whether the recovery is likely to be permanent. 

The Budget. 

325. There is no subject of importance on which information is so scanty as that 
of Soviet finance. The only figures we have seen published during the last eighteen 
months were set out in the British " Economic Review," and were taken by it from 

* Dr. Ballod was formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Berlin. 

[5631] N 


a German newspaper which obtained them from the Soviet Government publication 
iC Economic Life " of the 12th November, 1920. We have been unable to procure a 
copy of this issue of the Russian paper. The figures are as follows, viz. : — 




1918 .. 
1920 .. 

R. milliards. 

R. milliards. 

R. milliards. 





Revenue and Expenditure. 

326. The figures of revenueare probably an over-estimate, and greatly exaggerated. 
We have no reason to suppose tl^e figures of expenditure are over-estimated. Certain 
details are given, but not of the main objects on which the bulk of the money was to 
be spent. We have reason to suppose that the principal source of expenditure was 
for the provision of deficits for nationalised industries and for other new 
responsibilities assumed by the State. The actual figures of expenditure are not so 
startling if converted into sterling at present rates of exchange, or if expressed in 
terms of commodities formerly exported from Russia to other countries, and assumed 
to be sold there at present world prices, the proceeds being reconverted from their 
currency into Soviet roubles.* . 

Rapidly Increasing Deficit. 

327. The most striking feature of the accounts is the rapid increase of 
expenditure over receipts and the impossibility in present circumstances of meeting 
the deficit. There are, of course, no wealthy people left in Russia on whom taxation 
can be levied to make up the adverse balance. There is no stock of commodities of 
any great value or importance which can be exported. It is impossible to conceive 
of tariffs on imports which could raise any large proportion of a thousand milliard 
roubles. It must be remembered that no interest is being paid on the debts 
contracted by the Government of Russia during the war or on the properties 
confiscated from former proprietors and now being worked for the nominal benefit 
of the nation as a whole. In spite, therefore, of wholesale confiscation of property 
and repudiation of debt, the three years of Soviet rule have resulted in deficits of 
enormous size and of rapidly increasing magnitude. These deficits are being met 
by issues of paper money which month by month become of less value. That the 
present state of things cannot continue is certain. 

Krasin on Soviet Finance. — Comparison with Germany. 

328. In the not inconsiderable contributions to polemical economic literature 
which Lenin and Trotsky have recently made the question of finance has not been 
dealt with by them so far as we have observed, although they have treated other 
matters in dispute between themselves and their political opponents. In conversa- 
tion with Krasin one of the members of the committee asked him (1) whether the 
figures above were correct, and (2) what would in his opinion be the ultimate outcome 
of a financial position which must quickly end in an impasse ? M. Krasin replied 
that he had not seen the figures, but had no reason to doubt their being substantially 
correct. In answer to the second question, he said that financial deficits in a Socialist 
country were a matter of no particular moment. In Germany there were similar 
deficits met by the printing of paper money, and they were a matter of serious menace 
to her, because her industries were founded on a capitalistic basis and profit was a 

* If exchange be taken at 10,000 roubles to the 11. sterling (it is said to run as high as 20,000 
roubles) one thousand milliard roubles are only equivalent to 100,000,0001. , one-fourteenth of our 
expenditure in 1920-21. Eussia exported in 1910 and 1911 over 800 million poods of cereals in each 
year. If this 800 million poods had been all wheat it would represent 60,000,000 quarters. At 31. 
a quarter, and this is much lower than to-day's price, the value would be 180,000,0001. ; and this sum 
at an exchange of 10,000 roubles to the 11. amounts to 1,800 milliard roubles. 


necessity to capitalism. He seemed to expect revolution to be precipitated in 
Germany by the state of her finances, but in Russia they meant soon to do without 
money altogether, and they did not care how much it was depreciated in the 
meantime. The impasse suggested did not, therefore, frighten him. We record this 
view as an indication of the spirit in which a Communist well acquainted with 
bourgeois finance meets criticism of present Russian financial methods. The real 
weakness of the answer lies in the fact that Bolshevik control of industry has led to a 
great fall in production and that deficits in the finance of industry which have led to 
excessive issues of paper money are really a measure of the paralysis of industry 
brought about under the rule of the Soviet Government. The main underlying cause 
of the parlous state of Russian finance is insufficient production, and insufficient pro- 
duction is the factor forced on our notice in every branch of our inquiry into economic 
conditions in that country. 

Non-Nationalised Industry. 

Petty Industry restores the Bourgeoisie. 

329. A certain number of smaller factories have not been nationalised, and we 
have, therefore, endeavoured to ascertain the relative position of these factories when 
compared with those which have been nationalised, but statistical information on 
non-nationalised industry is almost non-existent. The following quotations from 
Lenin's recent book, "Childish Ailments of Progressivism in Communism, " published 
in May 1920, appear to show, however, that some of the non-nationalised factories 
are far from being extinguished by their nationalised rivals : — 

' For of petty industry there still remains unfortunately very, very much in the world, and 
petty industry is perpetually breeding capitalism and the bourgeoisie, perpetually, daily, hourly, 
psychologically and on a mass scale !" 

"To destroy classes means not only to banish the landowners and capitalists — this we did 
comparatively easily — it means also to destroy the small manufacturers, but it is impossible 
to banish them, it is impossible to suppress them, it is necessary to tolerate them, they can (and 
must) be reformed, re-educated only by a very long, slow, careful process of organising work. 
They surround the proletariat on all sides with petty bourgeois influences, they imbue these 
influences, corrupt them with it, calling forth continually among the proletariat manifestations 
of petty bourgeois lack of backbone, individualism, relapse into despondency, breaking it up." 

' It is a thousand times easier to conquer the powerful centralised bourgeoisie than ' to 
conquer ' millions and millions of petty proprietors, who by their daily humdrum, unseen, 
intangible, destructive, activity achieve those very results which are necessary for the bourgeoisie, 
which are restoring the bourgeoisie." 

The emphasis of these extracts and the fact that Lenin returns to the subject 
again and again in his book show how deeply he resents the continued existence of 
non-nationalised industries. 

The Number of Workers in the Factories. 

Witnesses' Evidence on Decrease of Workers. 

330. Our witnesses gave the following evidence showing the decline in the 
number of workers at the various factories at which they were employed : — 


(1.) Mr. William Pickersgill, who had been associated with the Sormovo Engineering Works 
for over twenty years, stated that the working population in the district round the works 
was about 45,000 before the revolution, but had melted away to 30,000 before he left 
Russia in the spring of 1920. 


(2.) Mr. A. G. Marshall, of the British Engineering Company of Eussia and Siberia (Limited), 
stated that the company had about 2,000 men employed before the revolution and 700 
in the early part of 1920. 


(3.) Mr. James Parkinson said 'that the Konshin Mill at Serpukhov near Moscow, where he was 
employed as manager for many years, had 10,000 to 12,000 workers before the revolution 
This figure had fallen to 5,000 in March 1920. 

L5631J N 2 



(4 ) Mr .1 J Wild stated that the Morozov Textile Works at Tver, where he was manager, 
Eormerly employed L7.000 workpeople, and that this figure fell to 2,600. The reason was 
that '• the people who had some connection with the villages left because they could not 
get sufficient food at the mill." 


(5.) Mr. R. Wright said that the town of Egorievsk depended entirely on its textile mills. In 
one mill the number of workpeople fell from 5,000 to 1,700. 


(6.) Mr. J. Grundy stated that of the 4,000 hands employed at Zundel's Works in Moscow 3,000 
were paid off and left for the villages. 

Dr. Sokolov's Information. 

331. In addition to the evidence of British witnesses with regard to the fall in 
the number of workers in industry, we are informed by Dr. Boris Sokolov, who left 
Russia in September 1920 — 

(1.) That the demand for workmen in Petrograd far exceeds the available supply and that in 

some trades the number employed was only from 5 per cent, to 20 per cent, of former 

(2.) That the number of workers in the rubber factories in Petrograd in August 1920 was 6,000 

as against 30,000 employed in the same factories in 1916. 
(3.) That in the china and glass industries there were 21,750 employed in August 1920 as 

against 123,000 in 1917. 
(4.) That in the cotton industry 18,500 workmen were employed in 1920 as against 172,000 

in 1916. 
(5.) That the number of workers in the metallurgical trades in Petrograd had fallen to from 

5 per cent, to 7 per cent, of the numbers normally employed. 

Comparison of 1918 and 1920. 

332. Dr. Sokolov attributed the shortage of workmen in Petrograd to the fact that 
a steady stream of workers has been leaving the city for the country in the course of 
the last two years. The same tendency is noted in the extracts made from the 
evidence of Mr. J. J. Wild and Mr. J. Grundy given above. Our evidence as to the 
shortage of labour and the decline in the numbers of industrial workers is supported 
by the following quotations made from " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " ("Economic 

Life 5 '):— 

Petrograd Statistics. 

(1-.) Table showing deficiencies in the different branches of Petrograd industry 
(October, 1920) :— 

Labourers Required 

Branch of Industry. 

according to 

Programme for 

second Half -Year. 

Actual Number 
of Labourers. 


in per cent. 

Per cent. 

Metal. . 





Food supply 

























Tailoring and seamstressy 








• • 

• • 

Paper mills 





Wood- working . . ... 










Utility . . . . . . 





Spirit distillation 



• • 

(" Economic Life," October 9, 1920, No. 225.) 

South Russian Statistics. 

(2.) Extract from article on " Manual Labour in the Works of Southern Russia," 
taken from " Economic Life " of the 9th October, 1920 : — 

"In the group of specially important works, which includes the Mariupol, Debaltsev, 
Kramatorsk, Drushkov, Nikolaev and Donetz-TJrievsk works, the number of workmen in May 


was 9,883, in June 11,190, in July 12,806, and in August 12,670. At the Mariupol works in 
August there were 3,145 men and at the Nikolaev works 3,941. 

"At the remaining seven works (Uzov, Konstantinov, Dnieprov, South Bryansk, Sulinsk 
and others) the number of workmen employed decreased from month to month; the number 
was in May 22,094, in June 12,198, July 12,481, August 11,904. 

" This acute decrease occurred on account of the decrease of number of workmen employed 
at the ' Eslampat ' (cartridge case stamping) works. The total number of workmen at twenty-one 
southern works was in May 54,018, June 45,725, July 49,734 and in August 49,430." 

Comparison of 1918 Census with that of 1920. 

(3.) Extract from "Economic Life," No. 242, dated the 29th October, 1920:— 

" During the last few years the number of industrial workers has fallen unceasingly. The 
industrial census of 1918 covered thirty-five Eussian Provinces, and, according to the data of 
the census for the 31st August, 1918, 1,253,900 workers were employed in 0,090 industrial 
enterprises. The estimate of the 1st June, 1920, embraced an even larger number of industrial 
enterprises (in many Provinces the workshops of the railway and water transport services 
were included) and a larger number of Provinces, and it appeared that information was received 
from 7,500 industrial enterprises, employing in all 1,061,900 workers. ... If only those 
Provinces are taken which were embraced by the census of 1918, it appears from the estimate 
of the 1st June, 1920, that 807,000 workers were found to be employed in 5,877 industrial 
enterprises in these Provinces, i.e., from August 1918 to June 1920 the number of factories had 
decreased by 3-5 per cent, and the number of the workers employed in them by 31 per cent." 

Statistics Relating to Principal Industrial Areas. 

(4.) The same article gives the following figures illustrating the decrease in the 
numbers of the workers in various Provinces according to the census of 1918 and 
the estimate of the Statistical Bureau in June 1920, showing the percentage of 
decrease from 1918 to 1920 :— 


Number of 
Workers according 
to Census 1918." 

Estimate, 1920. 




Kostroma . . . . . . 








■ 8,100 


Per cent. 
79 8 

In certain Provinces 
employed : — 

(a.) Kazan 
(p.) Samara 
(c.) Simbirsk 
(d.) Penza 

increases were recorded in the number of workers 

from 18,500 to 37,000 
from 18.500 to 22,600 
from 15,600 to 19,500 
from 9,400 to 10,700 

Moscow and Petrograd. 

The article concludes : "It is interesting to note the numbers of the industrial 
proletariat in the two principal centres of Moscow and Petrograd : — 

According to 
Census of 1918. 

Estimate of June 






Per cent. 
42 '5 


Absenteeism of Workers. 

333. We offer the following statements from Soviet sources with regard to 
absenteeism among the workers in industry : — 

(1.) An extract from an article on ' ; Manual Labour in the Works of Southern 
Russia" appearing in "Economic Life" for the 9th October, 1920, from" which a 
quotation has already been made above : — 


With regard to percentage of absentees, the percentage in the 
relation to the total number of men employed: — 

shock '* works was, in 






• • 



















Petrovsk . . 





Schodaner . 





Nizhny- Dnieprov 





' Even in the ' shock ' works the percentage of absentees is still very great, and if in most 
cases it shows a tendency to decrease, in the other works the percentage either increased (Kharkov 
Works) or remained stationary. In the works of the special importance group the percentage of 
absentees fluctuated considerably, especially in two works, Mariupol and Dnieprov, the percentage 
of absentees was as follows: — 






Dnieprov . . 






" At all the works more than 50 per cent, of the absentees are included in the group of 
' absent for unknown reasons.' 

(2.) An extract from the " Metallist," the journal of the Central Committee of 
the All-Russian Union of the Metal-workers, dated the 31st March, 1920 : — 

' A good third of the workers never turned up to work, thus, according to the time-sheet 
for the 3rd February of the assembly shops, where the finishing touches are put to locomotives, 
234 skilled and 53 ordinary workers reported for work; 72 (20 per cent.) skilled and 9 ordinary 
workers were ill; 47 skilled (13 per cent.) and 19 ordinary workers did not turn up at all. In 
general, from 30 to 45 per cent, of the workers absented themselves from the factory, while on 
Mondays and Saturdays the figures reached anything from 45 to 55 per cent." 

Reasons for Decrease of Industrial Workers. 

334. It will be seen from the succeeding paragraphs, with regard to food, that the 
very considerable decrease in the number of the industrial proletariat, recorded 
above, is due principally to a serious breakdown in the food supply of the towns and 
the consequent inability of the Soviet Government to assure to the population as a 
whole, and the industrial worker in particular, a daily ration upon which it was 
possible to live. In these circumstances, therefore, those who were able to do so left 
the town for the country. f Many of those who remained, owing to malnutrition, fell 
a prey to disease, and more especially to the epidemics of typhus, which began to rage 
in 1918 and continued throughout the following year. The percentage of mortality 
among the town population therefore began greatly to increase (see paragraph 357). 

Bread Control, 1916-17. 

335. It has already been mentioned that the shortage of food in Moscow and 
Petrograd began to be apparent during the time of the Provisional Government. 
In the autumn of 1916, a few months before the first revolution and the formation 

*" Shock " (or " udarny ") works are those which are placed in a special category as being of 
primary importance in the economic life of the State. Every effort is made to keep them working at 
the highest possible pressure. 

t A. Anikst, a member of the People's Commissariat of Labour, states, in the course of an article 
on the labour situation during the period 1917-1919 (published in " Two Years of the Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat," issued by the Supreme Council of People's Economy at Moscow) 
that "the decree of the Council of People's Commissaries regarding the transfer of 
persons, drafted to labour by the Departments of Labour attached to local Soviets does much to 
improve the possibility of drawing the workers out of the villages." He then proceeds to describe 
the compulsory transfer of workers to the army at the request of the military authorities and to 
various factories where labour was short, 


of the Provisional Government, bread prices were fixed. The Tsar's Government 
were soon forced as a corollary to resort to requisitioning grain. State^ monopoly of 
grain was one of the earliest measures of the Provisional Government. This measure 
created the strongest opposition from all the classes interested in agriculture and in 
the purchase and sale of cereals. Prices of manufactured commodities were then 
uncontrolled and went up by leaps and bounds, but the agriculturist could only 
obtain the price fixed by Government for what he had to sell. Thus arose in the 
earlv months of the Provisional Government a demand for fixing the price of 
industrial products also, and this demand was no doubt one of the causes which made 
it comparatively easy for the Bolsheviks when they came into power to proceed to 
the nationalisation of the larger manufacturing enterprises. 

336. In paragraph 303 we have shown how the endeavour to supply the peasants 
with manufactured goods broke down. Exchange between town and country became 
more and more difficult, and the Government food supplies were wholly inadequate to 
support the population of the towns. In these circumstances the Soviet Government 
proceeded to introduce a rationing system according to which the population was 
divided into four categories. 

The Daily Ration Categories. 

337. The highest category, category (1), embraced workers performing physical 
labour and soldiers in the army; category (2) provided a lesser ration for all those 
performing labour other than physical in commissariats and other institutions in 
the Soviet Government; category (3) provided a still smaller ration for members 
of the bourgeoisie who were employed in one occupation or another; and category (4), 
which provided an almost negligible ration, was given to those members of the 
bourgeoisie who were not engaged in any form of occupation. Later the number of 
categories was reduced to three by the suppression of the fourth category. 


Composition of the First Category in Petrograd. 

338. Dr. Yakovlev, who left Russia in the spring of this year after some mouths' 
service in the Red army, and subsequently under the Petrograd Department of 
Public Health, states that 70 per cent, of the recognised workers in Petrograd 
belonged to the first category. 

Basic Ration. 

339. Food conditions varied in the different towns, and were affected by the 
amount of supplies available in the different areas and by the degree of efficiency or 
inefficiency of the local food administration. Dr. Sokolov informed us that in 
Petrograd a general ration of \ lb. of bread a day was issued nominally to everyone 
without exception. In reality, however, this basic ration was issued during the 
summer, but generally failed during the winter months and was replaced by \ lb. of 

Supplementary Ration. 

340. In addition to the basic ration there was a supplementary ration divided 
into three categories of (a), (b) and (c) : — 

(a.) Was for workmen performing physical labour who got f lb. of bread in 
the summer, and in the winter not more than ^ lb. supplemented by 
quantities of oats varying from \ to \ lb. 

(b.) Was for Soviet officials who got \ lb. in the summer, and sometimes bread 
and sometimes oats in the winter. 

(c.) Was for the bourgeoisie, and was negligible in quantity. 

Workmen receiving rations according to card (a) received certain extras in the 
form of maize, fish, sugar and tobacco. The nutritive value of these extras is, 
however, inconsiderable when compared with that of the 1 lb. of bread to which the 
two cards entitled them nominally. From time to time small quantities of clothing 
were also issued to the workmen. Category (c) appears to have received almost 
nothing in the way of extras. 


Changes in Rationing Policy. — First Period. 

3 1 1 . The rations described above are only part of the story of a rather confused 
situation. Differing principles of rationing have, in fact, been adopted from time to 
timo by the Soviet Government. Three periods, marking three varying policies, are 
to be observed. In the first the class principle of distribution was adopted. The 
Red army came first, the workers and Soviet officials second, and the- rest of the 
population, including the bourgeoisie, third. This system worked badly and led to 
the rapid growth of speculation. The workers were themselves insufficiently fed, 
and they were frequently allowed leave of absence to go to the villages and procure 
the additional food necessary to maintain life. 

Second Period. — Third Period. 

The Bolsheviks, realising by experience the disadvantages of a purely class 
distribution, began to adopt during the second period the principle of food for work. 
Equality of rationing among the workers gave way to a system based on a recognition 
of the usefulness of the individual as a factor in production. Certain categories of 
workers (e.g., wood-cutters), the produce of whose labour was temporarily of supreme 
importance to the community, received a guaranteed or "armoured" ration on a rela- 
tively ample scale and obtained it regularly, whoever else went short. The stimulus to 
work produced by the " armoured " ration led to the adoption of the general principle 
marking the third period. This may be described as rations based on the achievement 
of a certain standard of production in a given work. Food premiums are given both 
for attendance and productivity. The result is that the food ration for a particular 
class of work in Russia to-day is of far more importance to the worker than the 
monetary wages that attach to it. This new principle appears to involve a departure 
from the original conceptions of the Bolsheviks with regard to the equality of 
remuneration in a Socialist State. If regard be had to the effort now being made to 
retain experts in industry by the payment of increased remuneration in food and 
money, and the return to individual control of industry, the departure becomes more 

The Academic Ration. 

342. There is a special " academic ration " now being given to inmates of the 
houses of science and university professors, which may be quoted as an example of the 
tendency to which we have alluded. The ration in question is given as follows by 
M. Farbman in an article in the ''Manchester Guardian" of the 24th December, 
1920, as follows, viz. : — 

Lb. per 

Lb. per 




e oil . . 

• • 





• » 

, ^ 

.. 35 




• • 

, m 

.. 18 




, . 

• • 

.. n 


.. 01 


, , 

. . 

.. 20 


.. Of 



• • 

i! 750 ' 

It is calculated that the value of this ration at 'speculation" prices is 
equivalent to 141,000 roubles a month. Professor Wilson, who left Petrograd on the 
30th November last, generally confirmed the figures given. He stated that whilst 
the ration he received on taking up his professional work after his release from 
prison in August 1920 differed in some details, its nutritive value corresponded, in 
his opinion, to the scale given above. 

The Relative Value of the Workers' Wages. 

Monetary Wage. 

343. The Russian worker at the present time receives, in addition to the ration 
already mentioned, wages in paper currency. This monetary portion of the wage is 
made up by a basic wage, premiums and overtime. 


Dr. Sokolov stated that there are thirty-five categories of labour in Russia, and 
he gives the following examples : — 


(a.) The lithographers employed at the State factory for printing paper currency in Petrograd 
belong to the 23rd category. They receive 4,000 roubles a month basic wage : a premium 
of 3,000 roubles for exceptionally good work, and a further 4,000 roubles for overtime. 
This factory, which is said to be engaged in reproducing facsimiles of Tsarist 100 and 500- 
rouble notes, works at high pressure, and the employees are required to work twelve hours 
a day. In addition to these monetary earnings they receive 1 lb. of bread a day, 3 lb. of 
maize a month, 1 lb. of sugar a month, 2 lb. of coarse meal a month, and they have the 
right to take one meal a day at the central communal kitchen in addition to the usual 

Metal Workers. 

(b.) First-class metal workers at the Kolpino metal factory, situated outside Petrograd, receive 
3,700 roubles basic wages a month and 9,000 roubles premium. The rations issued at 
this factory are not so valuable as in Petrograd, but workers are able to supplement them 
owing to the fact of their being situated in a country district. 


(c.) A skilled locksmith, belonging to category 21 to 23, can earn as a result of twelve hours' work 
by his basic wage, premiums and overtime from 10,000 to 11,000 roubles a month. 

Estimate of Total Monetary Value of Wages. 

344. Dr. Sokolov estimated the average value of the rations received by workers 
at the speculative prices obtaining in the open market at from 13,000 to 15,000 roubles 
a month. In these circumstances the lithographers may be said to be in receipt of 
from 24,000 to 26,000 roubles a month, although in this case a somewhat higher 
estimate may be allowed in view of the specially favoured position enjoyed by these 
workers in regard to rations. 

The wages of the Kolpino metal workers and of skilled locksmiths assessed on 
the same basis amount respectively to 25,700 to 27,700 roubles and 23,000 to 26,000 
roubles a month. 

Comparison with Wages before the War. 

345. Dr. Sokolov made a comparison of the wages of a skilled workman before the 
war, and their purchasing power, with wages and their purchasing power at the present 
time. He stated that the same workman before the Soviet Government came into 
power received from 60 to 100 roubles a month, and that the price of bread in 1916 
was 2 kopeks and of meat 20 kopeks. If 60 roubles were all spent in bread, the 
workman's wage at the old rate would have purchased 100 lb. of bread a day; his 
wage to-day would purchase 3 lb. His former wage would have purchased 4 lb. of 
butter a day, if it had all been spent in purchase of that commodity ; to-day his total 
wage would only purchase 3 oz. The wages of the skilled workman are of course 
above the average individual income of the remainder of the population. 

The Soviet Food Administration. 

Administrative Incompetence in Distribution of Food. 

346. The process of disintegration following the revolution, the deterioration of 
railway transport and the decline of industry leading to the separation of town from 
country are largely responsible for the shortage of food supplies in the towns. The 
suffering thus caused has been considerably augmented by administrative incom- 
petence on the part of the Soviet food organisations, as will be seen below from 
quotations from an official report prepared by A. G. Mashkovich, of the People's 
Commissariat of State Control, based upon data collected by the Extraordinary 
Revisionary Commission of the Council of Defence. The report is divided into two 

Part I is a trenchant criticism of the food administration, and is an interesting 
commentary upon Soviet administration as a whole. 

Part II gives a series of striking examples of some results of the Food Adminis- 
tration's activity, brought to light by the Extraordinary Revisionary 
Commission in the course pf its investigations. Extracts (a), (b), (c), and 
(d) are taken from Part I, a complete translation of which has been placed 
in Appendix X. 

(a.) "A series of revisions of the work of the Food Administration, and, even more so, the 
actual results of its activities point to its being nowhere of any use at all. The organisation 
is cumbrous, there is lack of initiative and it is costly in working. 

[5631] O 


(b.) " TIic Local Food ()r<j(niisiiiio)is. — If regard be had to the results achieved, it will be seen 
that the efforts of the workers and peasants to organise end in failure owing to their 
astonishing incompetence and inertia. There is no co-ordinating and supervising control, 
either central or Local, to which the proletarian food detachments and the committees 
of the village poor may look for guidance, and as a result their efforts are widely diffused 
and scattered and often distort the instructions of the Soviet Republic for the carrying 
out of economic policy. 

According to the reports of competent persons, the food administrations possess no 
experienced staff, no clear and speedy methods of accountancy and no reliable statistics. 
The question arises, what are they doing and what end do they serve? 

(c.) " The Central Food Organisations. — If we turn to the centre and study the working of the 
endless sections, sub-sections and offices of the People's Commissariat of Food, the same 
picture presents itself; floods of papers, responsible officials overwhelmed with correspond- 
ence, hundreds of clerks, bored, without initiative, looking upon their work as a burden, 
displaying extraordinary indifference towards visitors — this is the external side. Within 
there is no such thing as a single plan of action, assimilated by all directors of departments, 
permitting of the efficient disposal of everyday work, and based on a clear comprehension 
of the end in view and the methods necessary to attain it in all parts of the Republic. 

(d.) " Certain responsible members of the organisation are unacquainted with the technique and 
organisation of the institution in which they work. The fact that this circumstance was, 
by order of the People's Commissaries, to be the subject of special investigation on the part 
of the State Control bears witness to this. It is a very characteristic phenomenon. The 
question of supplying textile and engineering factories with food was discussed in the 
Council of the People's Commissaries. The representatives of the Komprod* present 
proposed immediately to ascertain from the Komprod to what factories supplies were 
being sent, their amount and where they were. When this proposal had been accepted, 
it appeared, to the astonishment of the directors of Komprod, that the information could 
not by any means be found, the reasons being purely those of organisation, of the actual 
state of affairs in the various departments. Not to speak of the disgraceful lack of 
communication of information from the provinces, one department is isolated from another, 
each follows its own ends, collects the information which is necessary to it; co-ordination 
of activity there is none, and therefore the question of the Council of the People's 
Commissaries had to remain unanswered. The absence of any such co-ordination indicates 
the shortcomings of the Collegium. The impression is given that the collegia attempt 
to meet one or another set of questions as they come in, but they make no effort to possess 
themselves of the knowledge of the technical organisation demanding co-ordination, which 
is just where collective work ought to give the greatest results." 

Rationing in the Donetz Basin. 

347. This report relates to a period from 1918 to i919. The following quotation 
from an article in No. 4 of the " Izvestiya Raboche-Krestyanskoi Inspektsii ' 
("Bulletin of the Workers' and Peasants' Council"), t April 1920, shows the position 
in the Donetz Coal Basin during the first quarter of 1920. The Donetz Basin is the 
most important coal area in Russia : — 

" In reality, we observe a complete lack of organisation in the supply of the workers of this 

" According to the data collected by the Workers' and Peasants' Control, the issue of food 
products for the workers is so insignificant that it does not satisfy their minimum demands, as a 
result of which strong tendencies are observed for workers to go away into the corn districts 
of the Ukraine. With a view to substantiating this we attach the following tables, which clearly 
show how completely unsatisfactory the situation is: — 

Total Rations 


Due to Workers 

and Families, 

Jan.- Feb., 

in Poods. 


Issue Due for 

March 1-15. 







Krupa (Meal). . 










Meat and fish 















Matches . . boxes 










Sugar prep. 












• II 








* Commissariat of Food. 

t The Workers' and Peasants' Control was formerly known as the People's Commissariat of 
State Control. 


" These figures speak for themselves. During two and a half months only 16 per cent, of 
bread, 22 per cent, of butter, 17 per cent, of meat and fish, and 25 per cent, of sugar has been 
issued. With the exception of krupa, which has been issued in quantities above the prescribed 
ration, products like makhorka (tobacco), matches, soap, sugar products, tallow, herrings and 
vegetables are never available for issue in 'the co-operative shops in the Don Basin Union. If 
we take into account that, for more than a year, the workers have not received a single arshin 
of textile material, thanks to which they are in great want of clothing, and the children walk 
about naked and barefooted, then it becomes clear that it is absurd to think of keeping the 
workers in the Don Basin under such conditions, and above all, of increasing production. 

' ' The food situation in April did not improve ; it is evident that there is no hope of an 
improvement even during the summer months, for supplies usually decrease everywhere at this 
time and in the Ukraine, more than elsewhere, will be insignificant." 

Results of Fuel Shortage. 

348. Shortage of food was accompanied by shortage of fuel. Many of our 
witnesses described to us the terrible conditions of cold in which they lived through 
the winter of 1919. A large number of houses were not heated. Pipes froze, the 
sanitary arrangements were completely out of order, and the inmates suffered great 
misery in consequence. The shortage of wood for fuel is emphasised by the large 
number of wooden houses which have been demolished in Moscow and Petrograd in 
order that the wood might be used for fuel. The price of wood in Petrograd in the 
winter of 1919 was 15,000 to 20,000 roubles a sazhen. Those of the upper and middle 
classes who had been accustomed to live in comfort and with an ample staff of servants 
had to carry the wood for themselves when they were fortunate enough to obtain any. 

The fuel question is dealt with in Appendices I, II and III. 

Other Necessaries of Life. 

Supply of Clothing to the Workers. 

349. The Russian workman is not only suffering from shortage of food and fuel. 
According to " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn," No. 223, of the 7th October, 1920 : — 

: ' For the last two months, September and October, we could not provide more than 30,000 
pairs of boots for the whole of the workers and peasants of the Eepublic." 

As a result of the shortage of the primary necessities of life the Committee of 
Ways and Means recommend that the following issues should be made to the workers 
during the coming winter : — 

Clogs ... 


Valenki (felt boots) 

Bast shoes 

Women's shoes ... 

Warm caps 

Warm coats 


Various fur-lined short coats 

Workers' high boots 

Cardigans and pairs of drawers 

Pairs of socks ... 



















(" Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn," No. 242, of the 29th October, 1920.) 

As the numbers of the industrial workers are estimated by the Soviet authorities 
at about a million, this is manifestly insufficient to protect the workers against the 
rigours of a Russian winter. The article, however, proceeds : — 

' In reality not more than 50 per cent, of the appointed quantity will be received by the 
workers, and at the present time distribution only reaches 25 per cent, of the established standard, 
with the exception of material and soap, the supply of which is more or less satisfactory." 


O 2 


The Productivity of the Individual Worker. 

Fall in the Workers' Productivity. 

350. The nominal rations, even in the case of the highest category, were insufficient 
to maintain normal health and strength, but they were often issued in quantities less 
than those prescribed in official decrees, and sometimes were not issued at all. The 
general result has been to impair the productivity of the average worker's labour. 
For example, it is stated in " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn '• for the 24th June, 1920, that 
the average amount of coal in poods produced per man a month in 1913 was 760 poods, 
in 1919, 250 to 280, and in March 1920, 240 poods. An extract from another article 
in " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn " of the 31st July, 1920, shows that " the serious food 
shortage has greatly interfered with the work of the (Moscow Coal) Basin. It has 
become so acute that the workers could not even be supplied with the minimum 
hunger rations . ' ' 

Causes of A bsenteeism. 

351. Evidence from Bolshevik sources, confirmed by our witnesses, regarding the 
inability of the Eussian workman owing to malnutrition to work well, when he could 
come to work, could be multiplied indefinitely. The productivity of labour suffered 
still further, however, owing to the number of days during which workmen were 
absent from work by reason of sickness and the necessity for leaving their work to 
search for food. 

Number of Days Worked per Month. 

352. The following table, taken from " Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn," No. 231, of the 
16th October, 1920, shows the average number of days worked per month by Moscow 
factory operatives in the last three months of 1919 and the first six months of 1920 : — 

Average for all Factories. 








Mar. Apr. 



Number of days worked per month 
Number of hands emploj'ed in factory — 

Under 50 . . 


500 and over 









14- (5 



17-4 15-2 

19-8 17-2 
18-9 14-9 
16-3 15-4 








Number of Days on which the Factories were Closed. 

353. The following table taken from the same number of " Ekonomicheskaya 
Zhizn " shows the number of days a month during which factories were closed : — 









Mar. Apr. 

May. June. 

Other industries 


8-1 5-9 
0-4 0-1 
0-5 0-3 









The number of days a month worked by each operative on the average is therefore 
far smaller than the number on which the factories were open for work. 


Distribution of the Worker's Year. 

354. In " Ekonoraicheskaya Zhizn " for the 9th October, 1920, a table is given 
showing the distribution of the worker's year during the post-revolutionary period 
compared with a pre-re volution ary year. The table is based on returns of the People's 
Commissariat for Food at the beginning of 1920. 

Working Year of the Industrial Workmen in Days. 

Pre- Revolution. 

Post-Revol ution. 

Increase since 

Percentage of 

Sickness. . 
Absence for other causes 







Total of days absent 





tlcbC > . • • > • • • 

v\ orjt •■ «• •• •• 








• • 

The article proceeds : — 

"It is shown that, notwithstanding the large decrease in the number of holidays after the 
revolution, the working year of the workman, owing to the increase of sickness, absence from 
work and stoppages, is decreased by 68 days or 25 per cent. ; and if, further, the length of the 
working day be taken into account, in 1916, including overtime 10-1 hours, and at the beginning 
of 1920, 8-6 hours, then the decrease of the working year amounts to 900 hours or 30 per cent." 

Productivity per Hour, Past and Present. 

355. The hourly production of the workman has everywhere decreased very 
considerably. The writer of the above-mentioned article refers to a report of the 
Petrograd Statistical Department of Labour at the end of 1916, in which the hourly 
production of the workman was said to be 64 per cent, of the normal pre-war produc- 
tion, and he observes that during 1919 67 per cent, was obtained in a large number 
of Petrograd works, and that similar figures were received for works in Moscow and 
some other districts. If it were desired to bring production up to the level of 1913, 
the following number of workmen would be required : — 

Number of workmen required by Soviet Russia according to standards of — 


For manufacturing industries 
For railways 




The following is the explanation in the same article of the fall in the produc- 
tivity of the workers' labour offered in the article : — 

' Of course, there are in the proletarian family both idlers and time-wasters. But in relation 
to them suitable measures can be taken. The essence of the matter does not rest with them. 
The following fact must be remembered. The normal daily nourishment of an adult town 
workman, according to the budget investigations of 1908-1916, was in Russia equal to 3,820 
calories. Towards the beginning of 1919, according to the investigations of the commissariat, 
this standard had fallen to 2,680 calories daily or by 30 per cent. It is true that in the beoinnino' 
of the year 1920 new investigations by the Central Directorate of Statistics found considerable 
improvement in the nourishment of the workpeople. Now, 1920, according to calculations by 
A. E. Lositsky, the workman in twenty-three towns receives on an average 2,980 calories dailv. 
Nevertheless, this cannot be considered sufficient for normal work."* 

*M. Farbman in an article in the " English Review " of January 1921, entitled " How Russia 
is Fed," gives the average calories of the food consumed in Russia as 2,558 per individual for March 
and April 1919, and 2,761 for December 1919 and January 1920. The average consumption of the 
workers in the later period, he states, as giving 2,870 calories. This he compares with the pre-war 
consumption of the worst-fed Moscow workers of 3,458 calories and the general town consumption 
before the war of 3,891 calories. 


356. The same article continues : — 

' The physiologic;! 1 standard for supporting the life of an adult man, according to the 
calculation of Professor Slovtsov, is 2,000 calories. So that after the deduction of this amount 
the workman was able to expend on productive labour: — 

Calories. Per cent. 

Before the revolution .. .. .. .. .. 1,820 100 

In 1919-3920 .. .. . . .. .. .. 830 46 

' From these figures it will be seen that the Russian workman, in consequence of insufficient 
nourishment alone, is obliged to reduce his production by 54 per cent., to say nothing of other 
causes, the wearing out of appliances, defects in raw material and other matters beyond the 
control of the workman. At the same time this workman has, in fact, although confronted by a 
combination of all these causes, reduced his hourly production by only 33-36 per cent., and his 
daily production, taking into account the decrease of working days, at the outside by 50 per cent. 
This means that the workman works even better than his nourishment allows, works on his 
reserve of health, gradually starving his organism. The scarcity of food is the cause of the low 
productivity of labour and of the deficiency of labour. The increase of sickness, absence from 
work and other forms of neglect is due to the same cause — insufficient food." 

Mortality among the Workers. 
Mortality at — 

1. Sormovo. 

557. The under -fee ding of the population must be regarded as one of the causes 
of the greatly increased mortality in Russia, and as having exposed people more 
rapidly to the ravages of disease. The following quotations from the evidence of 
three of our witnesses gives some idea of the increase in mortality among the 
industrial proletariat : — 

(1.) Evidence of Mr. William Pickersgill, of the Sormovo Works, Nizhni 

" The people there are starving and dying away .... from ten to twelve coffins 
a day were built at our works, only for our workmen and their families — for the 
population of the works, which was about 45,000 before the revolution, but it melted 

away to about 30,000, I should think Almost in every house there was typhus 

fever; and there was smallpox, of course, but not to any extent." 

2. Morozov Textile Mills. 

(2.) Evidence of Mr. James Charnock, of the Morozov Textile Mills, Orekhovo 
Zuevo, about 60 miles from Moscow. 

" The death-rate reaches seventy a day, I am told (for the district of Orekhovo 

Zuevo, with a population of 105,000) I have seen thirty funerals at one church 

myself on two consecutive days." 

3. Serpukhov. 

(3.) Evidence of Mr. James Parkinson, of the Serpukhov Mills, near Moscow. 

' The local undertakers could not deal with the number of bodies, and so the local 
Soviet issued a decree whereby the different works had to manufacture as far as possible 
coffins for its own people at cost price. Well, for about 5,000 workpeople with their 
families they were making an average of twenty coffins and a maximum of thirty 
coffins a day." 

The Voice of the Worker. 

Statements by Workers. 

358. The following extracts relating to the malnutrition of the workers and the 
effect of malnutrition upon the productivity of their labour are made from a report 
of Dr. Sokolov : — 

(1.) The Communist Novikov stated at the Moscow district meeting of the 
workers in the chemical laboratories, held on the 7th July, 1920 : — 

' Never before have the laboratory workers had to cope with such difficulties with 
regard to food supplies as at present ; they are starving, as they have neither an adequate 
ration card not a sufficient wage to enable them to purchase the necessaries of life." 


(2.) A workman at the Putilov Works, where the workers are said to have fallen 
from 40,000 before the war to 7,000 at the present time, states : — 

"In the full sense of the word we are starving, as we exist on bread and Soviet 
soup. We are completely exhausted owing to excessive overtime and insufficient 
nourishment, and we cannot afford to buy food." 

(3.) The Communist Khronin wrote in No. '3 of the journal " Metallist " for 
June 1920 :— 

' The conditions of work at the Kostromskoi Works are so bad owing to excessive 
overtime and bad food, that many of the workmen have collapsed and deserted for the 
villages. ... It must be recognised that the workmen's food is quite inadequate. . . . 
This is leading to the extinction of the proletariat." 

(4.) A workman from the Kolpinsky Works* announced : — 

" It is sad and shameful to think that the Eussian workman is doomed to extinction 
owing to the foolish economic policy of the Bolsheviki. Half of them have already 
perished. " 

Quotation from the Metal Workers' Journal. 

359. The following quotation from the "'Metallist," the publication of the All- 
Russian Union of Metal Workers, for the 31st March, 1920, offers a reflection upon 
the conditions of cold and hunger existing in Russia at the present time as they have 
been revealed to us in the course of our enquiry, and as we have endeavoured to 
describe them above : — 

' Cold and hunger have taught us much. The most important thing is that we have learnt 
to understand why it is we are starving, and how we must fight against these misfortunes. It is 
now becoming sufficiently clear that we are getting bread with difficulty because we don't give 
the peasant manufactured articles; that we cannot transport the grain lying ready in the corn- 
bearing Governments, because there is no transport to move it; that in a country of forests we 
sit without fuel and cannot keep our factory furnaces going because we can't supply the bread 
to the timber workers in the forests; that production in the factories and the repairing of 
locomotives has fallen to limits which beggar criticism, and the fault is one and the same — 
hunger, the absence of fuel, materials, &c." 

The Harvest of 1920. 

Soviet Comments. 

360. The description of the food situation set out above stands out more sharply 
in relief when it is remembered that the harvest for 1919 was exceptionally goodf, 
whereas the harvest for 1920 is stated to have been a failure. The following extract 
is taken from instructions to the peasantry issued by Muralov,! a well-known Com- 
munist agricultural expert, and printed in the paper " Derevenskaya Kommuna," 
for the 14th August, 1920. The paper is published at Petrograd. The instructions 
are entitled " An Immediate Task " : — 

' As a result of the drought during the spring and summer of 1920 there has been a great 
failure in the harvesting of corn, hay and roots. It is essential without delaying a single day to 
supplement the bad harvest of corn and fodder. 

' With regard to corn nothing can be done during this season, and the only means of 
salvation from starving is to grind up the old stocks of corn in Siberia and the Ural." 

Muralov also states that : — 

' ' A second immediate task is to increase the supplies of fodder. The results of the drought 
have been to decrease the harvest of hay by 60 to 90 per cent. The meadows have yielded 
almost nothing. The harvest of clover and other fodder is bad. The season is past and there 
is no changing a ruined harvest." 

The instructions given by Muralov relate entirely to the taking of measures to 
assure a good harvest in 1921, and to making the most economical use of available 

,. *^ n . J ^ , 1 , 920 ' Dr - Sokolov was elected as a Social Eevolutionary to represent the workers of 
the Kolpinsky Factory on the Petrograd Soviet. 

^ . v! Fi nmr 7 Bolshevik Command ant of the Moscow Military District after the revolution of 
Uctober lyl7. 


The Struggle with Famine. 

361. A series of paragraphs under the heading " The Struggle with Famine," 
have appeared in the Moscow ' Pravda " during the autumn months. They give 
information regarding the results of the activities of the Food Committees in the 
various Provinces in their efforts to organise the collection and distribution of 
agricultural produce. The paragraphs do not, however, provide any data which 
would enable us to judge as to the transport of these supplies which are said to be 
available, and their distribution among the population. 

Particulars af 1920 Harvest. 

362. An account of the 1920 harvest is given in an article in " Economic Life," 
No. 230, of the 15th October, 1920. An index table of the condition of the crops in 
different Provinces is set out in the article. The following is an extract from the 
fable : — 

(Number of Provinces.) 









Above average 


Below average 















• • 



It will be seen that the position of cereals is menacing, whilst the hay and fodder 
crops were almost a complete failure. The result has been that many peasants have 
slaughtered cattle they were unable to feed and thus further reduced the stock which 
had already been seriously depleted. 

Hopes of Supplies from Siberia and the Caucasus. 

3(53. In spite of these discouraging figures, the Food Administration of the Soviet 
Government professed confidence in their ability to obtain larger supplies of food for 
distribution in the winter of 1920-21 than in 1918-19 or in 1919-20. Their optimism 
was founded on the expectation that Siberia and the Northern Caucasus would 
provide more than half the quantity set out in their programme and that the claims 
on the rest of Soviet territory would be less than last year. There seems grave reason 
to doubt whether these hopes are likely to be fulfilled. On the 16th October, 1920, the 
Food Administration sent a circular telegram to all its branches signed by Lenin 
himself, in which it w T as stated that " in view of the scanty supplies from Siberia and 
from Northern Caucasus, all provincial food organisations are to send special trains 
of grain to Moscow." The amount collected in the early autumn appears to have 
been much below what was expected, and to have shown a decreasing tendency at a 
time when it might have been expected to increase. 

Wireless News in January 1921. 

364. In the " Wireless News " of the 13th January, 1921, it is stated that the 
presidents of the Provincial Food Supply Conferences in the great corn-bearing 
Provinces of Central Russia — Samara, Kazan, Saratov, Tambov,' Simbirsk, &c— 
have received telegrams signed by Lenin and the People's Commissaries for Food 
Supplies and Ways and Communications containing proposals to increase the export 
of grain from those provinces. The telegrams point out that owing to the lack of 
fuel it is impossible to obtain more than one-half of the food supplies ordered from the 
Caucasus. In regard to Siberia, so far from exporting grain, the telegram states 
that grain must be sent there in exchange for meat. The latest information regard- 
ing the situation in Siberia confirms the inability of the corn-bearing districts of 
Western Siberia to export grain. A considerable quantity of this grain was exported 
formerly to Eastern Siberia, where great privation is now being caused owing to the 
cessation of these exports. The separation of town from country, of which there 
had been signs under the Kolchak regime, has become far more apparent since the 
Soviet Administration was established in Siberia. The peasants, who were bitterly 
opposed to the Kolchak regime, are now equally opposed to the Soviet Administra- 
tion, and refuse to supply the towns with grain. The Bolsheviks have, therefore, 
been obliged to resort to requisitions by force, as in Western Russia, The Moscow 


wireless telegram, in stating that it is necessary to import grain from Western Russia 
into Siberia in exchange for meat, indicates the gravity of the economic situation in 
what was an important corn-bearing area. It seems impossible to believe that 
Western Russia, in view of the failure of the harvest, is able to do more than supply 
with difficulty the needs of its own population at the present time. In regard to 
supplies for the industrial population of Western Russia, another wireless message, 
dated the 16th January, states that the danger of a shortage of gram m the towns is 
not yet over, since the grain collected is in distant parts of the country and must be 
transported to the centre of Soviet Russia. The following is a quotation from the 

message : — • 

" Our hope now rests with the transport. All efforts must be exerted to bring the collected 
grain to the centre of Soviet Russia. Transport work is daily becoming more difficult and 

In these circumstances the supply of Siberia with grain from Western Russia 
would appear to be out of the question, and the position in Western Russia is in 
itself likely to become worse in the immediate future owing to the fact that the 
climatic conditions prevailing during January, February, and March are often 
adverse to transport. 

Realisation of the Position by Soviet Government. 

365. In conclusion it may be stated that the terrible conditions of cold and 
hunger, which make spiritually and materially desolate the lives of so many millions 
of the Russian people, are the subject of ceaseless comment in the utterances of the 
responsible heads of the Soviet Government and endless writings in the official reports 
and periodical publications of the People's Commissariats and in the Bolshevik press. 
The conditions are such that they cannot be hidden. 

How the Soviet Government Proposes to meet the Situation. 

Trotsky Acknowledges the Desperate Situation of Russia. 

366. The prominent members of the Soviet Government have acknowledged the 
seriousness of the situation as it has arisen during 1919 and 1920. Trotsky, in his 
"Terrorism and Communism," published in June 1920, states that Russia is " a 
starving country and suffering from terrible collapse of transport and the food 
administration." He acknowledges the diminished productivity of labour and 
admits that socialism must stand or fall by its capacity for the production of com- 
modities necessary to civilisation. He observes that : — ■ 

(1.) The growth of civilisation is measured by the productivity of human labour, and every 
new form of social relationship must pass the test on this donkey.* 

(2.) It is impossible to build up socialism on decreased production. Every social organisa- 

' tion is at bottom an organisation of labour. And if our new organisation of labour leads to its 

decreased productivity, then, by this very fact, the Socialist society which is being built up 

is inevitably on the way to ruin, however we may twist and turn, and whatever means of 

salvation we try to improvise." 

The Effects of the European War, 1914-17, and of the Civil War. 

367. It is interesting to note the reasons advanced by prominent members of the 
Soviet Government for present conditions, and in particular the remedies with which 
they propose to rectify the industrial collapse which they admit. In chapter VIII 
of ' Terrorism and Communism " Trotsky outlines the effects of the " Imperialist ' 
war and of the civil war which followed it. In particular, he mentions the temporary 
loss of the Donetz Coal Basin and of the Caucasus oil, the destruction caused by the 
alternate taking and retaking of large stretches of Russian territory by the White 
and Red armies respectively, the " swallowing up " of many thousands of the best 
workmen by conscription for the army and the adaptation to war purposes of Russia's 
remaining industrial organisations. He writes of the " gigantic devastation ' 
caused partly by the Anglo-American blockade and partly by the "predatory" 
campaigns of Kolchak and Denikin. 

* A literal translation. 
[5631] P 


•1 n appraisal of Trotsky's arguments. 

368. It is clear that the war of 1914-17 disorganised the economic life of Russia; 
that the revolution of .February J 1)1 7 was the result of a gradual undermining of the 
political and economic fabric of the State in the course of the war, and that the 
revolution itself and the disruptive forces which it released still further extended 
and hastened the process of economic disorganisation. We are prepared to agree that 
the effects of the war were calamitous. Our evidence shows, however, that the effects 
of the civil war upon the decline of Russian industry were preceded by the inaugura- 
tion of an indiscriminate policy of nationalisation, to which certain of the more 
moderate Communists were opposed ; and that this policy occasioned a further serious 
decline of Russian industry, the measure of which it is impossible accurately to 

1' rot sky and the Blockade. — The Blockade reacts adversely upon the Exchange 
between Town and Country. — The Proprietary Instincts of the Russian 
Peasant. — The Irreconcilable Land Policy of the Soviet Government. 

369. Trotsky does not explain what was the nature and extent of the "gigantic 
devastation caused by the Anglo-American blockade." The effects of the evidence 
given before us is to show that the blockade reacted principally upon the exchange of 
commodities between town and country. Agricultural machinery, and implements, 
and manufactured articles in universal use had chiefly been imported into Russia 
from abroad. The peasant was no longer able to obtain these articles in exchange for 
the paper currency he received for his agricultural produce. It is therefore claimed 
that the incentive to maintain in cultivation the former area of land under corn and 
crops, and to bring to the towns the surplus fruits of this cultivation, has been largely 
removed from the peasants. The evidence in our possession, and notably 
that of a witness, who has worked for many years in the co-operative societies 
in the North- Western Provinces, and has come into direct contact with the life of 
the villages, inclines us to conclude that the influence of the blockade was chiefly felt 
in this direction. We agree, therefore, that the blockade accentuated the difficulties 
of the Soviet Government in relation to the peasantry, and we are prepared fully to 
take into account the effect of these difficulties upon the life of the towns, which are 
entirely dependent upon the villages for corn and other agricultural produce. We 
are, however, convinced by other evidence, both oral and documentary, which has been 
brought before us, that the elementary proprietary instincts innate in the majority 
of the Russian peasantry, more especially with regard to the land, and the narrow 
devotion of the responsible heads of the Bolshevik Government to Communist theories 
on the socialisation of land, are also factors powerfully contributing to the dead-lock 
between the Soviet Government and the peasants, which has led Lenin to say " the 
village is conquering us." 

Methods proposed for the Restoration of Industrial Production. 

370. The remedies proposed by the Bolsheviks for the admitted industrial collapse 
appear to involve a threefold policy of inducement to the Russian worker to use every 
effort for the restoration of industry : — 

(1.) Moral suasion of the worker by propaganda. 
(2.) Payment of the worker according to work done. 
(3.) Conscription and militarisation of labour. 

Bolshevik Differences. 

It has been made clear in the course of our enquiry that leading Bolsheviks differ 
among themselves as to the relative importance of the three remedies proposed. Some 
of them are inclined to believe in the principle of payment in accordance with work 
done as an incentive to the intensification of the industrial effort. Others place more 
reliance on the ultima ratio of force, and Trotsky is the leader of these. 

Trotsky as the Protagonist of Compulsion. 

In Appendix VIII we give a full translation of Chapter VIII of Trotsky's 

Terrorism and Communism." The whole of it is worthy of study. It contains the 

most illuminating exposition we have met of the views of a convinced Communist who, 


by temperament and experience, is inclined to rely chiefly on force, and whose ideas 
of moral suasion appear to be centred in educating the masses in the necessity of 
discipline and of the compulsion which it necessarily entails. 

In reference to moral suasion by propaganda Trotsky writes : — 

" We say straight and openly to the masses that it is theirs to save, to raise and set in 
order a Socialist country only by means of stern labour, unconditional discipline, the most 
accurate execution of orders by every worker. 

" We must tell them openly that our economic plan, even with the maximum of intensive 
effort on the part of the workers, will not give us either to-morrow, or after •to-morrow, a land 
flowing with milk and honey, for during the immediate future we shall be devoting all our 
labours to preparing the conditions necessary to production. Only if we are successful in 
guaranteeing in minimum measure the possibility of re-establishing the means of transport, 
shall we be in a position to proceed to the manufacture of our articles of general necessity. 

" The masses, who will continue to support the burden of trial and privations for a 
considerable period to come, must understand in all its breadth of meaning the inevitable inner 
logic of this economic plan in order that they may be able to bear it upon their shoulders." 

Comment on Trotsky' s Appeal. 

371. It is a stern and lofty appeal. But it is doubtful how far under the most 
favourable conditions it would prove an effective spur to sustained corporate effort — 
even in a free community where broad and enlightened governance over long periods 
of time has slowly tempered men's passions and advanced their minds — leading them 
towards the distant goal of an ultimate ideal, and remoulding, without impairing, the 
economic foundations upon which civilisation rests. The picture of the state of 
Russia to-day, which we have endeavoured faithfully to draw within the limits of our 
opportunity and power, is the opposite of this. Russia has fallen into a state of 
economic dissolution which has, we think, few parallels in history; and those parallels 
show that, when the foundations of old societies are swept away and economic chaos 
supervenes, the moral fibre of man snaps under the strain of hunger and want, he 
becomes incapable of corporate action, and the intense individuality of suffering 
shatters society into thousands of human fragments. It is of this, we believe, that 
Mr. Bertrand Russell is "thinking when he writes of " the material disaster " which 
has overtaken Russia bringing 'spiritual collapse." It appears, therefore, that 
there is little to be hoped from a moral appeal directed to men whose material desola- 
tion has left a spiritual void which makes it impossible for them to respond. 

Trotsky on Payment in Accordance with Work Done. 

372. The following extract illustrates Trotsky's argument in favour of payment 
in accordance to work done : — 

' We have maintained, and shall have to continue for a considerable period, wage payment. 
The further we go the greater will the significance of the wage consist in the guaranteeing of 
all members of society with everything of which they stand in need, by this very fact it will 
cease to be a wage. But at the present time we are not yet sufficiently rich for this. Our 
fundamental task is to increase the quantity of goods produced, and everything must be 
subordinated to this. Therefore the wage, both monetary and in kind, must be made as far 
as possible accurately to correspond with the productivity of individual labour." 

Payment according to work done is admittedly a departure from Communist 
principles. Such a scheme tends to maintain classes for an indefinite time, and it is 
in itself, as is admitted by Trotsky, an essentially bourgeois industrial method. 

Trotsky on Compulsion and Militarisation of Labour. 

373. Trotsky bases his long and detailed argument in favour of compulsion and 
militarisation of labour on the socialist view that every society in the past has been 
an organisation of labour in the interest of a minority, whilst Russia is making the 
first attempt in the world's history to organise labour in the interests of the working 
majority itself. By militarisation of labour is meant the " arbitrary disposition of 
the economic forces and resources of the country " . . . . 

' The workers' State considers it has a right to send every worker to the place where his 
labour is necessary. And not a single serious Socialist will deny to the Workers' State the right to 
lay hands on the worker who refuses to carry out his labour orders." 

It does not therefore — 

" exclude the element of compulsion in all its forms, in its most mild and harshest forms. 
The elementary obligations of State compulsion not only does not pass from the scene of history, 
but, on the contrary, will continue to play an extraordinary role for a considerable time to come." 

[5631J P 2 


The Trade Unions as the Staff of Militarised Labour. 
He invokes the assistance of the trade unions — * 

' to train, discipline, distribute, group and fasten 'to their posts for definite periods the various 
categories of workers and individual workers," 

and adds — 

" To stand out for the ' freedom of labour,' under these conditions, means to stand out for a 
fruitless, helpless, unsystematic searching after better conditions, disorderly, chaotic migrations 
from one factory to another, in a starving country, suffering from a terrible collapse of transport 
and the food administration. What will be the result of such an inept attempt to combine 
bourgeois freedom of labour with the proletarian socialisation of the means of production save 
the complete dissolution of the working-class and complete anarchy?" 

Trotsky on the Collegiate System. 

374. In the same chapter of " Terrorism and Communism," Trotsky defends the 
replacement of the collegiate system of factory management by a return to individual 
administration. In reply to the taunts thrown at the Bolsheviks by Kautsky in 
Germany, and by the Social Revolutionaries in Russia, that the return of individual 
administration is a departure from Communist principles, he makes the defence that 
the Soviet organs through the congresses of Soviets represent tens of millions of 
working people, and continues — 

" If the working-class on a basis of its experience comes to the conclusion, through its congresses, 
partly Soviet and trade union, that it is better to have one man standing at the head of a 
factory and not a collegium, then this is a decision dictated by the self-action of the working- 
class. It may be right or wrong from the point of view of administrative technique, but it is 
not a thing imposed upon the proletariat, but is dictated at its discretion and by its will." 

It cannot be said, however, that the Congress of Soviets is a democratically 
elected body having a free will of its own. It is, on the contrary, an organisation 
carefully adapted to register the will of the Central Committee of the Russian 
Communist Party. 

His Arguments in Favour of Individual Control. 

375. The arguments of Trotsky in favour of individual control do not differ from 
the views held in the bourgeois society, which it is the purpose of the Bolsheviks 
to destroy : — 

' No collegium formed out of persons who don't know the job is capable of susperseding 
one man who does know the job. A collegium of jurists cannot take the place of a signalman. 
A collegiate of invalids cannot take the place of a doctor. The whole idea is wrong. The 
collegium itself cannot give knowledge to the ignorant. It can only serve to conceal the 
ignorance of the ignorant. If you appoint a person to a responsible post, then it is soon clear 
not only to others, but also to himself, how much he knows and how much he does not know. 
But there is nothing worse than a collegium of ignoramuses, of workers ill-prepared to fill a 
purely practical post which demands special knowledge. The members of a collegium are in 
a state of perpetually losing their heads, of mutual dissatisfaction, and chaos enters into the 
whole work by reason of their very helplessness. " 

He adds that in Russia the numbers of those among the working class who are 
capable of administration is very small, and indicates that those who (like himself 
and Lenin) have known — 

"the underground," who have fought the revolutionary struggle, who have lived abroad, who 
have read much in prison and exile, and who have acquired political experience, a wide horizon — 
this is the most valuable element of the working class." 

The last observation is unintelligible until one substitutes " Communist Party " 
for " working class." 

Circumstances in which the Report has been Compiled. — Unreliability of Statistics. 

376. We have above given as faithful a picture as we could of the economic 
conditions existing in Russia preceding the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917, and 

* See the Section on " Trade Unions in Soviet Russia," page 61. 


from that time onward up to recent months. The difficulties of our task have been great 
and they have been enhanced by the fact that we have only been able to obtain copies of 
the Soviet journal, " Economic Life," at irregular intervals. The witnesses whom we 
have examined, and the many travellers — Russian, English and French — with whom 
we have had interviews, have given us many details, as well as their general views, on 
the situation ; but these usually related to only a small part of the country, and were 
naturally coloured by their own political views. In the circumstances, we have 
.carefully checked such information as we have received from individuals by official 
reports, by the speeches or writings of leading Bolsheviks, and by the statistics 
issued in " Economic Life ' ' and other publications of the Soviet Government, for 
the supply of which we have been chiefly indebted to private sources. It should be 
stated that the statistics thus officially published are often inconsistent, and lead 
us to doubt their accuracy. That caution is necessary is proved by an article in 
" Economic Life " of the 13th August, 1920, headed : " Why we have no Industrial 
Statistics." The reasons are stated to be that, although there are many statistical 
organisations and a perfect 'rain of calculations," there is a complete lack of 
co-ordination and a shortage of competent statisticians in these organisations. 

Summary of Results. 

377. These are the conditions under which our enquiry has been conducted, and 
it only remains for us to summarise the results as follows : — 

(A.) — The Effects of the European War. 

The evidence produced before us shows that — 

(1.) The economic reorganisation of Russia was already, from 1915 onwards, 

partially dislocated as a result of the war. 
(2.) The organisation of the Russian army became seriously impaired and its 

discipline undermined in the course of the war. j 
(3.) A food crisis in Petrograd in February 1917 led to bread riots among the 

workmen of the citv. 
(4.) The revolt of the Petrograd garrison, who joined the workmen, was a 

decisive factor in the overthrow of the Imperial Government, and was 

a result of the revolutionary events of February 1917. v 

(B.) — The Effects of the Revolution of February 1917. 

(1.) The establishment of Soviets of workmen in the factories adversely affected 

industrial administration, and was largely responsible for a rapid fall of 

production in the manufacturing industries. 
(2.) The establishment of Soviets among the troops, who were war weary and 

desired peace, contributed further to destroy the Russian army as a 

fighting machine. Wholesale desertion began, and the army became a 

powerful factor in the process of disintegration throughout Russia after 

the February revolution, 1917. 
(3.) The peasants from the moment of the revolution, 1917, began to seize the 

estates of the landowners, and were encouraged in this course by the 

Bolsheviks during the summer of 1917. 
(4.) The area of land under cultivation began to decrease as a result of the 

disturbed state of the countryside. 
(5.) The peasants ceased bringing their grain to the towns as a result of the fall 

in production and the great rise in the prices of manufactured goods. 

Such food as the peasants did bring to the towns was commandeered by 

the Government at fixed prices, but the price given was such that it did 

not enable them to purchase the articles of common necessity which they 

(6.) The disturbance of the balance of exchange between town and country was 

a general result of the events accompanying and following the February 



(C.) — The Bolshevik Revolution and its Results up to the end of 1919. 

(1.) The Soviet Government proceeded to inaugurate a policy of nationalisation 
of industry and to institute an organisation for the State collection and 
distribution of food. 

(2.) The Soviet Government established the collegiate system of administration 
in industry, with a view to controlling the hitherto unrestrained actions 
of the factory Soviets. 

(3.) The Soviet Government, in a situation calling for the exercise of the utmost 
discrimination and care, carried out the policy of nationalisation in 
haste, without taking account of the disorder already prevailing in 
Russia, of the complex structure of modern industry, of the absence of 
expert technical assistance, and of the disabilities resulting from the 
lack of knowledge and experience under which they themselves laboured. 

(4.) As a result of nationalisation, carried out in the above conditions, production 
continued to fall, and with ever-increasing rapidity. 

(5.) In the summer of 1918 the outbreak of civil war, accompanied by foreign 
intervention, caused the Soviet Government to divert to military purposes 
all its energy and the residue of Russia's industrial capacity. In these 
circumstances the collapse of all other than war industry became 

(6.) The uninterrupted fall of production in the towns was accompanied by a 
further decline in the supplies of food received by the towns from the 
villages, which were able to obtain less and less in exchange for their 
produce. The disorganisation of transport also made it impossible to 
move with speed and regularity to the tow r ns with supplies available in 
the country districts. 

(7.) The reluctance of the peasants to supply the towns with food placed the 
Soviet Government under the necessity of requisitioning agricultural 
produce. This requisitioning in many cases evoked peasant revolts, 
which the Soviet Government endeavoured to suppress by sending 
punitive expeditions to quell them. 

(8.) The shortage of food in the towns owing to the cessation of exchange 
between town and country was further accentuated by incompetence and 
corruption on the part of the Soviet Food Administration. 

(9.) The industrial worker was paid partly in paper money, which fell in 
purchasing power with each succeeding month, and partly in a food 
ration, upon which it was impossible to support life, and partly in small 
and irregular issues of other commodities. 

(10.) The worker was thus compelled to devote much of his working time trying 
to supplement by illegal purchase the insufficient rations which he and 
those dependent upon him received, and to which by law he was limited. 
Government shops nominally existed where the worker might make 
supplementary purchases at moderate prices ; but little or nothing could 
be purchased at these shops, partly owing to the meagre supplies 
available in them and partly to the fact that such commodities as might 
be available were mostly reserved for favoured clients. 

(11.) An organised system of speculation, which the Bolshevik authorities 
endeavoured unsuccessfully to suppress, and in which they ultimately 
came to participate, grew up side by side with the Soviet Administration, 
and made it possible for those who possessed the means of purchase and 
exchange to keep body and soul together. 

(12.) Since the revolution of October 1917 disease has been widespread, 
particularly among the poorer classes, owing to malnutrition and 
neglected sanitation. The annual mortality of Russia is said to be 
6 per cent, of the population at the present time. 

(13.) From the summer of 1918 the strength and directing energy of the 
Bolshevik leaders were concentrated on the successful campaign against 
Yudenich, Denikin and Kolchak, and the needs of the civil population 
were of necessity sacrificed to those of the army. The successes of the 
campaign are to be attributed to the fact that unity of aim and method 
and the enthusiasm of a new ideal were to be found on the side of the 
Bolsheviks, while on the other side there was every kind of disorganisa- 
tion and lack of unity, with a growing disinclination for strenuous 


Soviet Proposals to Combat Economic Collapse. ' 

378. Such was the position at the end of 1919. The success of the Bolsheviks 
in the civil war brought them face to face with the seriousness of the economic 
collapse which had taken place, and it is clear from the speeches of Lenin and 
Trotsky, and from innumerable articles in the Bolshevik press, that the Soviet 
Government from that time onward fully realised the gravity of the situation. 
They proceeded : — 

(1.) To establish a system of individual control in industry in place of the 
collegiate system, which had proved a failure. 

(2.) To inaugurate a special campaign for the repair of locomotives and rolling- 
stock as an essential preliminary step to the restoration of transport. 

(3.) To introduce a policy of conscription and the militarisation of labour as 
the only means of carrying on the industry of the country — an industry 
practically ruined owing to the demoralisation prevailing among the 
industrial proletariat as a result of malnutrition and the absence of many 
of the primary necessities of life. 

(4.) To conduct an energetic propaganda against bureaucracy and red tape 
which have threatened to paralyse the Soviet Administration. 

(5.) To contemplate the possibility of receiving economic assistance from 
abroad on a resumption of trade relations with Western countries. 

With regard to these measures : — 

(1.) We have seen no figures which would allow us to judge as to how far the 
restoration of the system of individual control in industry has contributed 
to increase production. 

(2.) The measures taken to restore transport have resulted in a considerable 
increase in the number of locomotives repaired and in the improvement 
of railway services in the Central Provinces of Russia; but the 
majority of the locomotives available for running purposes are so worn 
out that, after repairs have been completed upon them, they often return 
to the workshops in a few weeks to undergo further repairs. We are, 
therefore, of opinion that the Soviet Government will experience 
increasing difficulty in maintaining the railway services at the higher 
Jevel to which they have been raised in the course of 1920, and we are 
convinced that only the importation of locomotives and of the spare parts 
of locomotives from abroad will enable the Soviet Government to maintain 
transport at its present level and to achieve any further improvement. 
In this connection attention may be drawn to Trotsky's statement in 
his speech before the 8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets, that it was 
hoped 1,000 locomotives would be imported into Russia by the end of 

(3.) Also we have not been able to obtain such information as would allow us 
to judge how far the policy of labour conscription and militarisation 
of labour have been successful, or otherwise, in solving the problem of 
the' shortage of labour, and to what extent conscripted labour has been 
utilised in industry, and how far — where used — it has been productive. 

(4.) The question of bureaucracy and red tape in the Soviet Administration 
was discussed at the 8th All-Russian Congress, but there are no 
indications as to practical measures which the Soviet Government propose 
to take against it. 

The Future. 

379. In regard to the future we can only speak with great reserve. No parallel 
is to be found in the history of the world for such conditions as exist now in Russia. 
The French Revolution towards the end of the 18th century was political rather than 
economic, and no outstanding leader in it was a Communist. " Liberty, Equality, 
Fraternity " were the watchwords of that revolution, and although the land of the 
nobles was confiscated, no attempt was made to reorganise the means of production 
on a Socialistic basis. In Russia, on the other hand, the fundamental tenets of 
Bolshevism are economic and include the violent suppression of the bourgeoisie, the 
confiscation and nationalisation of the means of production and the dictatorship of 
the. proletariat as a necessary step towards a realisation of the Communist ideal. 
The practical efforts of Bolshevism up to the present time, so far as they affect produc- 


tion, have been a disastrous failure. The magnitude of the industrial collapse in 
Russia and the consequent cessation of exchange of products between town and 
country are the factors that have forced themselves particularly on our attention. We 
know of no similar instance of a collapse so complete, so sudden and so far-reaching, 
although a similar tendency is to be observed in Central Europe, and more especially 
in those countries which formerly composed the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Want 
existed in Paris during the revolutionary period, but it was submitted to> for the 
sake of the political liberty sought by the people, and there was no general economic 
debacle such as has occurred in Russia. v 

Increased Production the Condition of the Continued Existence of the Soviet 

380. In these circumstances it is clear, if Bolshevism is to have any chance of 
permanent success, there must be a rapid return to something approaching the old 
standards of productivity- This is acknowledged by the leaders of the movement; 
by Trotsky not once only, but many times in his " Terrorism and Communism," for 
example (see paragraph 82), "It is impossible to build up Socialism on decreased 
production .... if our new organisation of labour leads to its decreased produc- 
tivity, then .... the Socialist society which is being built up is inevitably on the 
way to ruin," &c. 

381. It is maintained by the Bolsheviks that the Soviet Government has existed 
too short a time for considered judgment to be passed upon its success or failure, and 
that during the greater part of this period they have been prevented from laying the 
foundations of economic reconstruction owing to the civil war and the foreign inter- 
vention which accompanied it. We are prepared to agree that their time has been 
short and their opportunities restricted. We doubt, however, whether so much human 
misery as has existed in Russia during the last three years has ever been the lot of any 
peoples within so short a time in the history of the modern world. While we are 
prepared to admit that the European war, the events following the first revolution, 
the civil war and intervention, are contributing factors in causing this misery, it is 
impossible to dissociate the Soviet Government from a large measure of responsibility 
for the recent sufferings of the Russian people. 

Has the First Stage towards Communism been Completed f 

382. It is claimed by some that the first stage towards the ultimate realisation 
of a Communist society has been accomplished in Russia, viz., the overthrow and 
suppression of bourgeois society and the establishment of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, and that the second stage, that of economic reconstruction on Communist 
lines, has been begun. Our evidence shows that the Bolsheviks have succeeded in 
completing the first stage only in so far as they may be said to have destroyed the 
freedom of trade and competition upon which capitalist enterprise is based. Lenin 
in his recent book, " The Childish Ailments of Progressivism in Communism," 
indicates that ' : petty industry " continues to nourish, and that it breeds capitalism. 
The foundations upon which bourgeois society has been built up still therefore exists, 
and the first stage towards the realisation of a Communist society is in consequence 

Modification of the Soviet Government 's Policy. 

383. If, however, it be assumed that the first stage has been completed, the policy 
of the Soviet Government at the beginning of the second stage differs widely from the 
policy which was adopted by the Bolsheviks on their advent to power. The collegiate 
system, which was established to control the Soviet system in industry, has given 
place in the majority of cases to individual control, a return to principles of industrial 
administration which have received their fullest development under capitalism. 

384. At the same time, the power of officialdom in Russia has developed on a 
scale to which there is no parallel, and represents an attempt to control completely 
the conditions of work and leisure, of food and drink, of education and amusement, 
of travel, and even of the home life of every individual in a nation whose population 
even now exceeds 120,000,000. According to recent evidence, the tendency towards 
State control is increasing rather than diminishing, and this at a time when many 
Communists are of opinion that the withering away of the State — accepted bv all 
believers as the second stage on the road to a Communistic Utopia — has already been 


Divided Counsels in Communist Party. 

385. There is reason to believe that the difficulties confronting the Soviet 
Government will be enhanced in the work of economic reconstruction owing to the 
increasingly divided counsels in the Russian Communist Party, and to the failure of 
the harvest, the results of which may be reflected upon the harvests of succeeding 

Conclusions Regarding the Resumption of Trade. 

386. With regard to the resumption of trade between Russia and other countries, 
we have formed the following conclusions : — 

(1.) We are convinced that for the economic equilibrium of the world exports 
from Russia are a most important factor to the European market. 

(2.) We do not, however, consider that Russia will be in a position to make its 
contribution towards the relief of Europe for a considerable time to come. 

(3.) There can be no question of the export of cereals in the immediate future, 
owing to — 

(a.) The primary necessity of restoring to the Russian people a sufficiency 

of food to maintain health and strength. 
(b.) The lack of agricultural machinery and fertilisers. 
(c.) The diminution in the area of the land under cultivation, which is 

given by M. Earbman in his articles in the " Manchestei 

Guardian " as 40 per cent. 
(d.) The necessity for restoring to the peasant an adequate incentive if 

the land which has fallen out of cultivation is to be reclaimed. 
(e.) The impossibility of restoring to the peasant an adequate incentive 

to agricultural production until industrial production has been 

restored and the peasant is in a position to receive from the town 

the manufactured goods and articles of common necessity which he 


Foreign Capital Essential to Speedy Economic Regeneration of Russia. 

387. It is our conviction that there is no possibility of the economic regeneration 
of Russia in the near future without the assistance of capitalist countries. Our 
conclusions with regard to the rendering of such assistance are guided by the follow- 
ing considerations : — 

(1.) That the destruction of capitalism by violence, not only in Russia, but in 
other countries, is the deliberate aim and purpose of the Russian Com- 
munist Party, which forms the Government of Soviet Russia at the 
present time. 

(2.) That, to this end, the Third or Communist International has been estab- 
lished at Moscow, and we believe this has been done under the auspices 
of the Soviet Government, and with its financial and material support. 

(3.) That the Russian Communist Party and the Third International are actively 
endeavouring to compass the destruction by violence of capitalism in 
countries to which the Soviet Government has addressed overtures for 

(4.) That the Soviet Government, in destroying capitalism in Russia, has assisted 
to bring about a complete collapse of industry in that country. 

(5.) That, in face of this collapse, the Soviet Government invites capitalists to 
help to restore Russian industry. 

(6.) That the Soviet Government has carried on, up to the present time, an 
active and widespread international propaganda, and that, had that 
propaganda achieved its object, international capital, to which the Soviet 
Government now turns for aid in restoring economic prosperity to Russia, 
would have disappeared. 

(7.) That the credit and capital required for Russia's urgent needs are large, 
that no Government can give this credit and capital on the scale required, 
and that such aid can only be furnished by individual capitalists or 
financial groups who are willing to provide the necessary supplies in 
money or goods. 

(8.) That it is inconceivable that the credit and capital required in Russia should 
6e provided by foreign capitalists as long as the destruction of capitalism 
[5631] q 


and the \iolent overthrow of so-called bourgeois Governments remains the 
main object of the Russian Government, or of the political forces by 
which it is controlled. 
(9.) That, if the Soviet Government renounce and abstain from propaganda 
directed to the destruction of capitalism and the established order in 
other countries, it still remains to be seen how far in the near future they 
will be able to arrest the process of economic disintegration and to lay a 
foundation upon which it will be possible for Russian industry and 
agriculture once more to develop and expand. 

Final Conclusions. 

388. The conclusions to which we have come are : — 

(1.) That the complete renunciation by the Soviet Government, by the Russian 
Communist Party and by the Third or Communist International of 
propaganda directed towards the destruction of the political and economic 
order existing in other countries is the fundamental premise, without the 
acceptance of which there can be no question of capitalist aid in the 
economic reconstruction of Russia. 

(2.) That the possibility of extending credit to Russia on a scale in any way 
commensurate with her minimum needs will be dependent on the faithful 
observation of the above condition. 

(3.) That the co-operation of the peasantry is indispensable to the economic 
reconstruction of Russia. 

(4.) That the settlement of the agrarian question on a basis which will provide 
inducements for agricultural production, now lacking, is essential to the 
provision of adequate supplies of food for the industrial worker in the 

(5.) That the restoration of rail and river transport is necessary if such food 
supplies are to be conveyed with speed and regularity to the industrial 
areas of Russia. 

(6.) That the state of administrative incompetence and corruption into which 
the departments of the Soviet Government have fallen militates against 
the proper distribution of available supplies among the population, and 
must be remedied if the Russian worker is to be restored to the standard 
of health and strength necessary to re-establish the diminished produc- 
tivity of his labour. 

(7.) That, if the Extraordinary Commissions continue to exercise their present 
irresponsible powers, foreigners, whose services in Russia may be necessary 
to execute contracts between the Soviet Government and foreign 
capitalists, will be deprived of those guarantees of freedom and protec- 
tion which are accorded to foreigners in other civilised countries, and this 
will destroy the possibility of any benefits accruing to the Soviet Govern- 
ment from such agreements. 


The Choice before the Soviet Government. 

389. It would appear, therefore, that the Soviet Government must decide 
whether they are going to maintain a policy of political repression at home and 
aggressive Bolshevik propaganda abroad, which will inevitably, whatever inter- 
national treaties they may make, lead in practice to a continuance of their present 
economic isolation, or whether they will accept and honestly carry out the fundamental 
condition which can alone obtain for them the outside aid they so urgently need. 

390. If they decide to maintain the campaign for the violent destruction of 
capitalism in other countries and the policy of ruthless repression which makes it 
impossible for foreigners to live and to do business in Russia, then Russia will of 
necessity be left to her own resources. Then will the future show whether or not 
the combined effect upon the worker of persuasion as to the merits of Communism, 
and of persuasion by payment for work done with the shadow of imprisonment and 
the bayonet ever present, can restore the old productive power of Russia within the 
short time available for the experiment. If it does not, Trotsky himself admits that 
the Russian Socialist Society is on the way to ruin, however it may twist and turn, 
and with the conclusion of Trotsky we agree. 



We now conclude the Report, which we have endeavoured to draw up in accord- 
ance with our terms of reference. Our difficulties have been great owing to the 
remoteness of the country where the events forming the subject of our inquiry have 
taken place ; by the fact that Russia has been cut off from other countries for three 
years, and that even now normal intercourse has not been re-established; and they 
have been increased by the complexity of the subject matter, dealing, as it does, with 
the extensive and far-reaching character of a rapid sequence of revolutionary changes 
which have taken, and are now taking, place. Our information, while extensive, has 
been inadequate to the nature and magnitude of our subject. It has also often been 
conflicting and has not been easily susceptible of arrangement in a form lending itself 
to the expression of considered opinions. Imperfect, therefore, as they have inevit- 
ably been, we hope that our inquiries may be of some assistance to your Lordship, to 
His Majesty's Government, and to the British public. 

We desire to express our acknowledgment of the valuable services rendered by 
Mr. Garle, who has acted as our secretary until his health broke down, and of the 
great assistance rendered by Mr. Gall, who was appointed secretary when Mr. Garle 
resigned. Mr. Gall's knowledge of Russia, and of the Russian language, and of 
many Russians, has been invaluable in the prosecution of our inquiry, and he has 
worked with an intellectual grip and assiduity which are beyond all praise. 

We have, &c. 

EMMOTT, Chairman. 


W. RYLAND D. ADKINS ^Members. 


jl. G. M. Gall, Secretary, 

22, Carlisle Place, Westminster, S.W.I, 
February 25, 1921. 

[5631] Q 



Appendix I. 


THE output of coal from the Russian coal-mines both European and Asiatic in the year 1913 
was 2,192,220,000 poods. It fell in 1914 to 2,167,309,000 because in the latter half of the year 
the Dombrovsky Basin which had produced 424,452,000 poods in 1913 came within the zone of 
war and only produced 230,144,000 poods. In 1915 the Dombrovsky Basin fell completely into the 
hands of the Germans and produced no coal whatsoever for Russia with the result that the total 
output of European and Asiatic coal for the year 1915 fell to 1,898,387,000 poods. 

All the coal-mining districts showed a better output for 1914 that they did in 1913 with the 
exception of the Dombrovsky district and this improvement was maintained in 1915 except in the 
Caucasus district where there was a small fall of about half-a-million poods as compared with. 1913. 
According to a report of the Ukraine Coal Committee which appears in " Economic Life " of the 
22nd June, 1920, the total amount of coal obtained from all the coal mines of European and Asiatic 
Russia for the month of May 1920, was 24,954,256 poods. Assuming that the output for the whole 
year, 1920, remained at or about twelve times the amount obtained in May, this would give a total 
of 299,451,000 poods of coal for the year 1920, or about one-seventh of the 1913 production and 
one-sixth of the 1915 production. 

The principal coal-fields in European Russia in order of importance are the Donetz, the 
Dombrovsky, the Urals, the Moscow, and the Caucasus regions, of which the Donetz is by far the 
most important as regards its size, the quality of the coal and the ease of working. The mines in 
Asiatic Russia only produced 163,000,000 poods in 1915 nearly the whole of which was consumed 

The Donetz Basin. 

As regards the Donetz region the position has been complicated by these coal-fields having been 
within the zone of hostilities in the course of the civil war. It changed hands five times in all, the 
last change being in December 1919 when the Red army recaptured it. A great decrease in 
production took place after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and the output in January 1920 was 
reduced to 14,000,000 poods. It will be seen later that this output has improved and in the month 
of September stood at 26,000,000 poods, as compared with 139,836,000 poods which was the average 
monthly output for the year 1915. 

The following table appeared in " Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920: — 

Production of coal in the Donetz Basin for the first four months of 1913, 1919 and 1920. 

(In Thousands of Poods.) 
















Very early in 1920 the Soviet authorities began seriously to address themselves to improving the 
position, and the question of the coal supply from the Donetz Basin is mentioned in " Economic 
Life " for the 13th February, 1920, where it is stated that the " constant passing of the army front 
across the Donetz Basin with all its resulting difficulties has seriously hampered the organisation of 
output and distribution of coal. With the beginning of January 400,000 poods of coal .... were 
.ordered for delivery, but even this small quantity could not be managed. The small figures for 
January show in what condition we received our transport facilities from the Whites." 

19,300,000 poods of coal were apparently mined in February. 

The next step appears to have been to militarise the industry of the Donetz Basin and to make 
provision to bring any workmen who might fail to do their work before the revolutionary tribunals. 
The Ukraine Soviet of the Labour army on the 20th February, 1920, resolved as follows: — 

1. All stocks of coal in the Donetz Basin, and all coal freights are declared military stores, 

robbery of which will be punished with the utmost rigour up to death sentence. 

2. To concentrate in the Donetz Basin not less than one brigade of the Labour army to do 

the loading and escorting of freights. 

3. To propose to the Mining Committee to prepare within three days a scheme for the daily 

employment of the rolling-stock. 

4. Categorically to forbid any army, district or other fuel organisation to interfere in any way 

with the distribution of coal. The only distributor of coal is the Southern Fuel 


The effect of the measures taken became apparent in the following month (March) when 
according to " Economic Life " of the 15th June, 1920, a total of 24,261,000 poods of coal and 
anthracite were brought to the surface, or about one-sixth of the pre-revolutionary amount. This 
output of coal and anthracite, however, was not maintained for the combined output of coal and 
anthracite for April fell to only 13,480,000 poods. In May it rose again to 18,248,000 poods. These 
disappointing results are attributed to " the failure to establish the victualling question, and the lack 
of clothes and boots and the many authorities, and further neglect of fundamental repairs." 

In " Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920, quoting from the Pravda " No. 130, the Supreme 
Council of National Economy is stated to have reported in regard to this coal-field that " disorder 

reigns everywhere, scarcely any coal mining is to be observed " ' The majority of the pits 

are flooded and a great deal of power is devoted to pumping them dry. At best it may be hoped to 
obtain an output of 25,000,000 poods per month. The Chief Fuel Service has not made itself master 
of the organisation and is obliged to have recourse to the requisition of fuel belonging to various 
organisations and factories. The supply of the workers with food is very badly organised." 

From " Economic Life " No. 235 of the 21st October, No. 236 of the 22nd October, No. 239 
of the 3rd November, and No. 284 of the 17th December, 1920, we have obtained the following 
additional particulars: — 

The output for January to June (inclusive) of 1920 was 130,000,000 poods, for July to September 
(also inclusive) 66,000,000 poods (September alone 26,000,000 poods). In the first half of October, 
when fear of Wrangel's advance disturbed production, the output was 10,300,000 poods. For the 
first half of November it increased to over 14,000,000 poods. 

A wireless message gave the total output for November as 30,000,000 poods against an expected 
total of 32,000,000. These figures may be compared with the average output per month before the 
war of 125,000,000 poods. 

That the poor output is due in the main to the fall in the productivity of labour is apparent 
from the comparative table showing the number of workmen employed in the Donetz Basin during 
the first four months of the years 1913, 1919 and 1920. 

(In Thousands.) 









About 80-0 



105 3 

Monthly average 




The number of workers was 129,610 on the 1st November, 1920 and 126,000 on the 16th 
November. The principal decrease occurred in the surface workers who deserted in large numbers 
when the cold weather set in because they had no warm clothes. Output per worker in the first 
half of November was at the rate of 230 to' 235 poods per month, one-third of the pre-war average 
(" Economic Life," of the 17th December, 1920). 

In " Economic Life " of the 22nd October, 1920, the output for 1919 is stated to have been 
305,000,000 to 310,000,000 poods and the expected output for 1920 is given as 25,000,000 poods less. 
These figures show that the productivity of labour has fallen very greatly when compared with 1913. 

A later number of " Economic Life " dated the 27th January, 1921, gives the output in metric 
tons as follows, viz.: 1913, 25,600,000; 1918, 9,195,000; 1919, 5,330,000; and 1920, 4,567,000. The 
last figure represents 279,000,000 poods approximately. 

The Moscow Basin. 

The importance of the coal industry to Kussia is obvious and it must be remembered that the 
Soviet Government had every reason, military and economic, to keep the output of coal in any 
region under their control at the highest possible level. Although the number of workmen employed 
in the Moscow Coal Basin actually increased to between three and four times the number employed 
in 1916, the coal output in that region has not, in spite of Bussia's urgent needs increased at all in 
the same proportion. 

We append a table which is taken from " Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920, giving the 
comparative monthly output of coal in the Moscow region during the first four months of 1916 
1919 and 1920. 

The Moscow Basin. 

(Output in Thousands of Poods.) 



1919. 1920. 

April . 









11 the figures for the first three mouths of L917 instead of those for 1916 had been taken, the 
position would be shown to be more unfavourable; for, owing to the intensive coal getting which 
was undertaken in the early part of 1917, the average output had reached an average per month 
of 4,160,1X30 poods during that period. 

Economic Life " No. 236 of the 22ml October, 1920, gives the output for the first six months 
of 1920 as 15,500,000 pootls and for the third quarter as 9,000,000 poods. The same paper states 
that the programme scheduled for 1921 is 50,000,000 to 00,000,900 poods or almost double the actual 
output for 1920.* 

The number of workmen employed in the Moscow Basin during the first four months of the 
wars 1916, 1919 and 1920 was as follows: — 

(In Thousands.) 






• • 

• * 




Monthly average 




We have no exact record of the number of workmen employed in the first three months of 
1917, but the number at the end of 1916 is stated in "Economic Life" No. 233 of the 19th 
October, 1920, to have been 10,000. 

In the Report of the Supreme Coal Committee for May 1920, which appeared in " Economic 
Life " of the 22nd June, 1920, reference is made to the causes of the general decline in the coal mining 
industry and the unsatisfactory result is attributed (1) to the mobilisation of workmen born in 1901, 
(2) to the lack of horses, (3) to lack of food, especially salt, tobacco, clothes and boots, and (4) to 
" interference of all sorts of Departments in the management of the mines." 

In " Economic Life " of the 24th February, 1920, the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy 
and the Supreme Coal Soviet state that there was a very great lack of pit-props, and discussing the 
fall in output say " the reasons for the reduced output are snow storms, holidays, victualling 
difficulties, and also the alteration in the style," [sic]. 

In " Economic Life " of the 24th June, 1920, it is stated that the average amount of coal in 
poods produced per hand per month was in 1913, 760; in 1919, 250 tc 280 poods; in March 1920, 
240 poods ; and in April 1920, 130 poods. 

M. Ksandrov at a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of National Economy held on the 30th 
June, 1920, presented a report which appears in " Economic Life " of the 2nd July, 1920. According 
to this report the production of the nationalised collieries during May 1920 per collier was 350 poods 
and in June 600 poods and he states that the chief reason for the improvement is due to the better 
provision of food and to the great need of pitprops having been met. In face of a wireless message 
of the 29th November, 1920, stating that the oiitput per collier was 197 poods in that month, we are 
not inclined to attach any importance to M. Ksandrov's figures. 

The Ural Disrict. 

We append the output figures for the Ural district for the first four months of 1920. 

The Kizelov Eegion. 
(In Thousand Poods.) 






Average C 




> monthly < 




output i 









" Economic Life " of the 22nd October, 1920, states that the scheduled output of 20,000,000 
poods will not be realised,! that there is a serious shortage of experienced miners, and that difficulties 
have arisen in the supply of provisions for the workers. 

* " Economic Life of the 27th January, 1921, gives the total output for 1920 as 660,830 metric 
tons. If this figure is correct, the output of the last quarter must have been 15,500,000 poods, or 
as much as was produced in the first two quarters of the year. We are unable to check the 

t " Economic Life" of the 27th January, 1921, gives the output for 1920 as 660,830 metric 
tons, or approximately 15,700,000 poods. 



(In Thousands of Poods.) 





May . . 

] Average monthly 
} output for the 
J first half-year 
540 * 

There are no data [ 
available for the<[ 
first months i 


The output for December 1920 is given in a wireless message as 3,550,000 poods. The output 
for the year 1920 is stated in " Economic Life " of the 27th January, 1921, to have amounted to 
485,300 metric tons, or about 29,600,000 poods. 

The output for the Yegorshinsky district for 1920 is given in " Economic Life " of the 27th 
January, 1921, as 51,870 metric tons, and that of the Bogoslovsky mines in the Ural district for 1920, 
at 140,000 metric tons. The output of the Borovichi district for May was 141,764 poods, that of 
the Anxherka district 1,835,000 poods, that of the Budzhenka 836,000 for the month of April, and 
that of the Kuznetzky Basin for the first half of April is given at 847,000 poods. Eor the last named 
district the output for eight months of 1920 is stated ('" Economic Life " of the 22nd October, 1920) 
to have been 36,500,000 poods.* 

As we have already stated the coal from the Siberia mines is almost entirely used locally, and 
the state of transport is such that the coal got otherwise than in the Donetz, Moscow and Ural 
regions is of little use to Kussian industry. 

Appendix II. 

Wood Fuel. 

About one-third of European Bussia is covered with forests and in the first half of 1913 Bussia 
exported through her European frontier 159,365,000 poods of timber. In spite of her vast resources, 
the position of internal supplies of wood fuel in the Autumn of 1919 was very serious. This was 
due to a considerable extent to the shortage of oil and coal supplies in 1919, giving a quite unusual 
importance to the supply and distribution of wood fuel. The supply, however, remained quite 
insufficient, largely owing to faulty organisation. So grave was the crisis that the following decree 
was published by the Council of the Workers' a,nd Peasants' Defence in the " Izvestia " of the 
20th November, 1919: — 

' In view of the necessity of concentrating all the efforts of the country on the task of 
overcoming the fuel crisis, the Council of Workers' and Peasants' Defence has decided — 

1. To introduce in the localities mentioned below the following forms of obligatory public 

labour — 

(a.) Wood-cutting. 

(b.) Collecting, loading and unloading ot all kinds of fuel. 

(c.) Transport by road of all fuel, military supplies, and other consignments to the 
towns, railways and other destinations. 

2. The order summoning the population to execute the duties above mentioned is promulgated 

by the People's Commissariat of the Interior. 

3. The control over obligatory public labour is entrusted to a member of the Collegium of the 

Commissariat of the Interior who may send deputies to act for him. 
- 4. To the labour above mentioned are summoned all male citizens from 18 to 40 years, who 
are not yet mobilised, those who are exempted from military service and women between 
18 and 40 vears." 
The decree does not appear to have been very effective in its results. A. I. Bykov, president 
of the Supreme Council of People's Economy, presented a report tj a Congress of that body held 
in Moscow in January 1920, in which the following passage occurs : — 

' The shortage of fuel is such that dining the current winter in Moscow there was not 
enough for heating even the hospitals. The Council of People's Commissaries ordered 12,000,000 
to 14,000,000 cubic sazhens of wood fuel to be prepared in 1919, but the fuel supply organisations 
were only able to prepare 6,000,000 cubic sazhens. Of these less than 2, 000, 000" cubic sazhens 
were brought out of the forests, 1,250,000 were delivered at the railheads, and 1,000,000 to 
the waterways. Therefore it will be seen that the deliveries are in arrears, and that less than 
one-third of the 6,000,000 cubic sazhens has been transported. As regards the transport of 
fuel to the place of consumption we have so far been unsuccessfu 1 and therefore the minimum 
programme of fuel supply to the chief Moscow factories could not be carried out." 

*-" Economic Life " of the 27th January, 1921, the output for 1920 is given as 895,000 metric 
tons (approximately 54,600,000 poods). The output in 1913 is stated to have been 830,000 for 1918 
1,006,000 and for 1919 1,097,670 metric tons. 


Abundant continuation o! the lack of wood Euel lias reached us from many quarters. Our own 
witnesses described the great privations which they suffered owing ti the lack of fuel in the winter 
ci 1919-1920. 

Dr. Vakovlev in a note that he made upon the situation states: — 

Notwithstanding the wholesale destruction of forests, the fuel crisis was so great that in 
the winter of 1919-1920 the rank and file of the urban population could get no fuel whatever 
and was left to its fate (some parts of Petrograd excepted), whilst most of the industrial 
undertakings in Petrograd and Moscow had to close down last winter. The Government offices 
were no better off as regards fuel, the rooms being so cold that the employees were only able 
to work three hours a day instead of six, and in some cases only every other day." 

An engineer, recently in the service of the Soviet Government, stated in an article in " New 
Russia " of the 6th May," 1920: — 

' The home demand for timber is so great that the labour armies will hardly be able 
to prepare a sufficient quantity of timber for the requirements of the railways, not to mention 
those of industries and towns." 

From other sources we learn that the need of fuel was so great that Capitalist 'Companies were 
employed by the Timber Commissariat to augment the supply of wood fuel. " New Russia " relying 
on the " Pravda " of the 21st April, 1920, states that the Soviet organisations of the Novgorod when 
in want of fuel obtain it through their contractors, former capitalists We append a quotation: — 

' Last year the Provincial Timber Commissariat managed its timber supplies itself. This 
year it has given the job to a group jf capitalists forming the Bragorsk Company. This 
company, utilising the Timber Commissariat staff, wall make J profit of at least 30 per cent., to 
say nothing of the fact that they have been able to buy their cordage, &c, at speculative prices. 
Competing with one another these companies make it impossible to introduce obligatory labour 
in the villages. To-day the peasants work for the local Commissariat, to-morrow they desert 
to some company which promises to pay them in salt, calico, nails, &c." 

The "Pravda" describes these modifications of Communist policy as "disgraceful abuses." 
Dr. Yakovlev stated that " although the Government press was constantly printing indignant articles 
on the reappearance of profiteers and speculators in history, their existence was practically sanctioned 
by a series of decrees, thereby merely confirming the impotence of Government institutions and the 
crying necessity for retaining private enterprises. It should be observed, moreover, that notwith- 
standing the exceptional difficulties and dangers which encompass private enterprise at present, 
wherever it has proved possible, to use the latter, it has everywhere managed to deliver the goods 
promptly and at a comparatively moderate price. As regards fuel, it is necessary to note the highly 
melancholy fact (for Russia) that at the present the wholesale and barbarous destruction of timber 
for fuel is going on all over the country." 

Owing to the increased supplies of coal and oil fuel, which the recovery of territory by the 
Soviet Government has placed in their hands there has been some amelioration of the position in 
recent months. Unfortunately we have no detailed information on the subject which enables us to 
state how far the situation has improved. In an article on the " Autumn Fuel Supply Crisis " in 
"Economic Life" of the 20th October, 1920, the central belt (between Moscow and Kharkov) is 
stated to be " as always creating apprehension" in regard to fuel supply. It is stated also that 
diversion of wood fuel from the Northern Belt to the Central Belt cannot be considered " because to 
do so would cause irreparable harm to Moscow and would inflict great hardships on the latter during 
the coming winter." The article, which deals with coal, oil and wood fuel, shows that the situation 
still causes great anxiety. 

The Moscow wireless, on the 11th November, 1920, stated " this year we have double supply 
of fuel we had last year," but a general claim of this kind does not help materially to an exact 
appreciation of the present position. 

In the British " Economic Review " of the 25th February, 1921, the following figures are taken 
from the issue of "Economic Life" dated the 1st January, 1921. The output of sawn timber 
in forty-three provinces of European Russia was 443,000,000 cubic feet in 1912. Of this quantity 
200,000,000 cubic feet w r ere exported abroad and the remaining 243,000,000 consumed at home. 
The output of sawn timber in 1920 is stated to have been only 70,000,000 cubic feet; whilst the 
requirements for all purposes were 350,000,000 and for the Commissary of Transport and 
Communications alone 132,000,000 cubic feet. 

Appendix III. 


Bolshevik Revolution in Azerbaijan April 1920. 

After the establishment of a Soviet form of government in Azerbaijan the supply of petroleum 
products was once more at the disposal of Russia, and the Central Petroleum Committee of the 
Soviet Government therefore proceeded to form the Azerbaijan Petroleum Committee which was 
charged with arranging for the transport of existing supplies of oil from Baku to Astrakhan and 
from Astrakhan to Central Russia. 


Plans for Export of Oil and their Fulfilment. 

It was proposed by the Central Petroleum Committee that 170,000,000 poods of oil should be 
transported from Baku to Astrakhan during the navigation season of the year 1920, and, according 
to " Economic Life " for the 13th October, 1920, No. 228, 116,200,000 poods of petroleum products, 
comprising 70 per cent, of the total estimate, had reached Astrakhan by the 1st October, 1920. 

The same article in " Economic Life " assumed that navigation would be practicable for another 
forty-five days after the 1 st October and that 900,000 poods of oil might be expected to arrive daily 
at Astrakhan during this period, and that this would give a total of 156,700,000 poods transported 
to Astrakhan during the whole period of navigation. In " Economic Life " dated the 16th December, 
1920, No. 283, it is stated that 158,700,000 poods of oil were transported during the whole navigating 
season, and therefore, approximately 91 per cent, of the estimated transport of 170,000,000 poods of 
cil was attained. It is said that the port of Astrakhan was not in a position to receive more than 
was actually transported. 

Transport of Oil up the Volga. 

According to "Economic Life" for the 13th October, 1920. No. 228, it would appear that 
unprecedented lowness of the water in the Volga and the shortage of tugs accounted for the failure 
to transport up the Volga from Astrakhan more than 120,000,000 poods, whereas it had been 
anticipated that 147,000,000 poods would be sent from Astrakhan to Central Eussia. Moreover, owing 
tc the low state of the water the middle and upper reaches suffered most and received cargoes of 
oil in small quantities and only after considerable delay. This is shown by reference to the following 
table published in the issue of " Economic Life " mentioned above. The table shows the deliveries 
made according to plan, at the more important river ports along the Volga, and the actual shipment 
to, and arrival at these ports up to the 15th September, 1920: — 

Arrival of Oil at Volga Kiver Ports. 
(In Millions of Poods.) 


Shipments made 

A Tfl^rQ 1 Q "t" 

Points of Destination. 

planned from 

Astrakhan during 

the Navigation. 

from Astrakhan 

up to 
15th September. 

111 llVdl dl 

Destination by 
15th September. 



































The article continues: — 

' Altogether, out of 70,400,000 poods shipped from Astrakhan to all the Volga river ports, 
only some 38,300,000 poods had actually arrived from the 16th September, and the remaining 
32,100,000 poods were still on the way." 

In these circumstances it was decided in the period immediately preceding the close of the 
navigating season not to utilise the available tonnage for transporting oil above Nizhny-Novgorod, but 
to concentrate all barges on transporting as much oil as possible up to that point. As far as supplies 
to towns to the west of Nizhny-Novgorod are concerned, it will be necessary to make use of rail 
transport for the purpose of conveying supplies to Moscow, Petrograd and other large towns. As 
is stated in the article from which quotations have already been made, this necessarily exposes the 
tank cars available to greater wear and tear owing to the longer runs they have to make by reason 
of the fact that it has not been possible to convey oil supplies further by water. 

Serious Shortage of Kerosene for Central Russia. 

It is stated that the position as regards kerosene is very bad, and this is the more unfortunate 
because a liberal supply of kerosene, which is in great demand in the villages, would have made 
it possible for the Soviet Government to improve somewhat the exchange of commodities between 
town and country. Here again it is hoped that tank cars and engines in good condition and in 
adequate numbers may be provided in order that the supplies of kerosene available on the Volga 
may be conveyed to the centres where demand is greatest. 

State of Caspian Oil Fleet. 

With regard to the transport of oil from Baku to Astrakhan "Economic Life" for the 16th 
December, 1920, No. 283, states that there were during the present year ninety-three vessels 
available, of a gross capacity of about 7,800,000 poods. During previous years the majority of these 
vessels appear to have become totally unfit for work and even the residue were only able to work 
indifferently. They had either not been overhauled at all for a considerable period or, at all events, 
only very superficially. As a result of this, in the majority of cases those ships which had completed 




the journey to and from Astrakhan from Baku were obliged to lie up for refitting on their return to 
the latter port. This work of repairs was delayed owing to the shortage of skilled workers in Baku. 
The equinoctial gales during September and October and the early appearance of unbroken ice in 
the Astrakhan roads, exercised an additional adverse effect upon 'the transport of oil from Baku 
bo Astrakhan. It was under these unfavourable conditions that the total export from Baku of 
156,700,000 poods was effected as mentioned above. According to the same article the stocks of 
petroleum in the Baku region on the 21st November. 1920, aggregated 214,800,000 poods. It is, 
however, stated that production has been adversely affected during the period of nationalisation by— 

Effects of Nationalisation of the Oil-Fields. 

1. The decrease in the number of skilled workmen. 

2. The extreme shortage of transport facilities and also technical equipment. 

3. The decrease in the productivity of labour. 

With regard to (1) owing to the wholesale departure from the Baku districts of balers and drillers, 
700 wells in actual exploitation and over forty wells in course of being drilled have had to be 
abandoned, and, owing to the shortage of carpenters and locksmiths, ten wells already completed 
in the Surakhany district cannot be put into Operation. 

Production of Oil at Baku, May to September, 1920. 

In "Economic Life " for the 13th October, No. 228, it is stated that the production in the 
Baku oil-fields since the establishment of a Soviet form of government in Baku — from May to the 
15th September, 1920, was as follows: — 

Months in 1920.* Output in 1,000 poods. 

May ... ... ... ... ... 16,536 

June ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 14,948 

July ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 13,20;1 

August ... ... ... 12,163 

September (for the first fifteen days) ... ... ... 5,367 

However, in " Economic Life " of the 16th December, 1920, No. 283, it is stated that the total 
output of the Baku oil-fields during the period of nationalisation — given as from the 28th May to 
the 20th November — was 73,300,000 poods, compared with an output of 87,400,000 poods from the 
beginning of 1920 to the 27th May, but it is claimed that the decrease in output has been arrested, 
and that a rise from 362,000' poods a day during the month of September, to 381,000 poods in the 
month of October, and to 406,000 for the first twenty days of November has been recorded. 

The Position of the Grozny Oil-Fields. 

According to an article in " Economic Life " of the 14th October, 1920, No. 229, the oil-fields 
in the Grozny petroliferous area in the northern Caucasus have suffered greatly during the occupation 
of this territory by Denikin's forces. Several wells were flooded and buildings and machinery are 
said to have been demolished by Denikin's troops prior to their evacuation of the Caucasus. 

Output of the Grozny Oil-Fields Past and Present. 

According to a table set out in the article, the output of the Grozny oil-fields during 1917 
was 107,816,000 poods during 1917. In 1918 the output had fallen to 25,217,000 poods and rose in 
1919 to 37,738,000 poods. It is claimed that the monthly output which was 2,184,000 in January, 
1920, fell to 1,239,000 poods in May, rose to 5,919,000 poods in August — a figure which is not far 
short of the average monthly production of the wells in 1913. It is difficult to believe that the 
Soviet Government have been able so quickly to repair the damage to the wells, buildings and plant 
as. to restore production to a level which compares favourably with the production of a normal year 
before the war. 

Export of Grozny Oil. 

The amount of oil exported from Grozny is given in the table as being 73,893,000 poods for the 
year 1917, and in 1918 it appears to have fallen to 4,939,000 poods and to have risen again to 
28,524.000 poods in 1919. The export for January 1920 was as low as 554,000 poods, and is given as 
5,398,000 poods for August. The oil is transported partly by rail, and was until September 1920, 
partly sent by pipe-line to Petrovsk and thence by sea to Astrakhan. No explanation is given why 
the export by pipe-line has ceased, and it is difficult to see how the export figure of 5,398,000 poods, 
recorded for August, can be possibly maintained if the burden of transport has henceforward to be 
borne entirely by the railway services, and it is equally difficult to accept the statement made in 
the article that the monthly transport of oil on the railways during 1920 was greater than in 1916 
and 1917. 

Labour in the Grozny Fields. — Number of Wells. — Drilling. 

According to the table, the number of workmen employed in the Grozny oil-fields during 1917 
was 10,265, and had fallen to 1,724 in February 1920 and risen again to 3,050 by August. With 
regard to the number of wells, it is stated in the beginning of the article that when Denikin's forces 
left the Grozny area there were 709 wells, of which 585 were idle. Beference, however, to the table 
supplied in the article shows that the greatest number of wells over exploited at Grozny appears 

* In the first half of 1914 the output per month was over 27,000,000 poods and for the same 
period of 1915 over 29,000,000 poods. 


to have been 393 in 1917, and that this figure fell to 41 and 43 during 1918 and 1919 respectively. 
The number of wells at work was estimated at 121 for July 1920. and no drilling appears to have 
taken place at all during August. 

Restoration of Buildings. 

While it is maintained that a considerable amount of work has been accomplished during the 
summer of 1920 in restoring the buildings destroyed by Denikin, it is stated that there is no cement 
or nails, and that the workers have to be lodged in houses without window-panes owing to the absence 
of glass. That the whole of this report on the present position of the Grozny wells should be 
regarded with reserve is suggested by the fact that admissions are made in it that the Soviet 
organisation for State Control* — which is responsible for supervising and criticising the activities of 
all departments of the Soviet Government — is on very strained terms with the Grozny Oil 
Administration . 

Appendix IV. 

Raihvay Transport. 

Kailways play a vital part in modern economy, their breakdown in Eussia has naturally 
attracted much attention and the apportionment of blame for the catastrophe has been the cause 
of much controversy. There is no subject in regard to which we have found it more difficult to 
obtain reliable statistics, and there is none on which statements cf defenders and critics vary more 

M. Y. Sverdlov, Assistant Commissary of the People for Kailways, issued a report in April 1920, 
in which he complains of organic defects in their original construction, and says that they suffered 
from disorganisation owing to mobilisation and demobilisation, and from the diversion of railway 
workshops to the manufacture of shells and munitions. He lays much stress on their deterioration 
before the Bolsheviks came into power, but claims that railway transport was maintained, although 
to a restricted degree by the " tremendous enthusiasm of the working masses after the October 

In contrast with these views we give an extract from a report, dated the 22nd June, 1920, of 
a Delegation of the Russian Railway Board! in which emphasis is laid on the great deterioration 
having occurred under Bolshevik management. This report states as follows, viz. : — 

' The decrease in traffic on the Russian railway system may be better appreciated if for 
example, we take the figure 100 as representing the position at the commencement of the year 
1916; at the beginning of 1917 this figure would be 70, in the middle of that year (Nekrassov 
Ministry) it would be 50, at the beginning of 1918 (Soviet Government) it would be 30, during 
the year 1919 10 and to-day it would be 5." 

Both views are perhaps extreme. One is by a high official who wants at one and the same 
time to put the best face on things, and to stimulate workers to do their best in face of a crisis. The 
other view is advanced by observers in a foreign country who are bitterly hostile to the Bolsheviks. 
As throwing light on Sverdlov 's claim of the " tremendous enthusiasm of the working masses " we 
note that an order No. 691 was issued in the " Isvestia " of the 10th May, 1920, directing all former 
workers on the railways to report themselves for immediate return to their former work ; whilst 
in the " Izvestia " of the 12th June, 1920, it is stated that there has been a very small return to 
work in compliance with the order aforesaid, and that those who do not return will henceforward be 
considered deserters and be proceeded against accordingly. 

In face of these conflicting opinions and the absence of comparative statistics of train miles and 
freights and passengers carried, we set out, as the best criterion we can find, certain figures in regard 
to locomotives on which there seems to be something approaching agreement although we cannot 
feel sure they are really correct. It is unnecessary to deal with trucks, because locomotives are the 
key of the position, and there is not the same shortage of trucks as there is of engines. It may be 
noted that the stock of locomotives at the commencement of 1914 is given in the Russian Year 
Book as 20,057. 

The fairest method of comparison for 1914 and subsequent years seems to be the number of 
sound locomotives per 100 versts of the lines in the possession of the Government for the time being, 
and the number of engines in running order as compared with those waiting for repair. We append 
a table giving these particulars. The enormous increase in the proportion of damaged locomotives 
speaks for itself. 

* Known as the Workers' and Peasants' Control whose reports form the most reliable material 
for the study of the economic position in Soviet Russia. 

i The Russian Railway Board managed the railways before the Bolsheviks came into power, and 
the delegation in question consisted of the former presidents of the Moscow- Voroniezh-Kiev and the 
Transcaucasian Railways and the former vice-presidents of the Moscow-Kazan and South Russian 

' [5631] R 2 


Number of Sound 

Length of Lines 
in Versts. 

Number of Sound 

Percentage ol 

Locomotives Out 

of Order. 

Locomotives per 

100 Versts of 


Per cent. 











1917, January 





„ June 





,, December 





1918, June .. 





,, December 





1919, June .. 





„ December 





1920, January 





„ February 





„ March 





„ April . . 





„ May . . 

59,852t • 




„ June . . 





„ July .. 


. , 


• * 

„ August 



59 -0|| 


"We also append a table showing three sets of figures for different months of 1920 all emanating 
from official papers of 'the Soviet Government, and showing great discrepancies. They illustrate the 
difficulties we have met with in trying to obtain approximately reliable figures. 


" Economic Life." 

" Economic Life," 

" Pravda," 

June 20, 1920. 

July 27, 1920. 


ember 17, . 


Out of 



Out of 



Out of 
















« • 








\) i*j Oo 


























• • . . 

• • 

. . 


. . 

. . 





• • 

• • 




The increase in the total number of engines since March 1920, as also in the number of those in 
running order appears, to be due chiefly to the territory containing railway lines brought under Soviet 
sway at the end of 1919 and in the early months of 1920. It may be due in part to a different method 
of counting, for we notice references to an accumulation of locomotives " evacuated " which may 
mean that engines once treated as derelicts have been again brought into count. 

Another reason that has affected the latter months was the Decree No. 1042 issued in the 
spring of 1920. It prescribed a plan for repairs covering a period of 4| years from the 1st July, 1920, 
and by its terms a definite number of locomotives and waggons was apportioned for repairs on each 
railway during each month. 

The two great reasons for the railway breakdown, besides the fuel difficulty which must have 
been very serious in 1919, are the almost complete cessation of new building of locomotives and the 
disorganisation of the repairing shops. From 1917 to May of this year, Russia received no new 
iocomotives from abroad. She was dependent on her own production. In goods train locomotives 
alone as many as 1,282 were built in 1906. The demand appear^ to have been more than met in 

* Figures form the Russian Year Book. 

t From " Pravda " of the 17th September, 1920. 

J The figures after 1914 down to this point excepting those marked (t) are taken from " The 
Russian Economist," but they are so near those published from time to time by Bolshevik sources 
of information that we make use of them. 

§ From " Economic Life " of the 20th June, 1920. The April figures agree with those of 
Sverdlov. " Pravda " of the 17th September, 1920, gives 5,695 for May, 6,692 for July, and 6,677 
for August. The June figures in this issue are obviously incorrect so we do not quote them. 

|| From "Economic Life" of the 17th October, 1920, No. 232. The increased percentage of 
defective engines in August is said to be accounted for by the inclusion of the South -Western Line 
on which, taken alone, the percentage of defective engines was 73-7. 

11 These figures are identical with those given in Sverdlov 's report in 1920. 


that year, and in the years 1907-1914 the numbers varied from a minimum of 363 in 1912 to a 
maximum of 816 in 1914. In the years following 1914 the number of new goods trains locomotives 
made in Eussia was 903 in 1915, 576 in 1916 (plus 400 from America), 405 in 1917 (plus 375 from 
America), 191 in 1918, and only 68 in 1919. The total potential productivity in Eussian locomotive 
works was estimated by a Commission of 'the People's Commissariat of Ways and Communications to 
be 1,802 engines in 1919. The actual output only 68. The programme for 1920 was 105, but it is 
certain that this figure has not been nearly reached. 

Our own witnesses gave interesting information on the question of the fall in production of new 
engines. Mr. Pickersgill, assistant manager in the Sormovo Locomotive Works, informed us that 
before the war they turned out thirteen to fifteen new locomotives a month, but that in 1919 they 
only made sixteen in the whole year. We are able to add later information, from an article from 
'Economic Life" printed in " The Eussian Economist" No. 1, in which we find that at the 
Sormovo, Briansky and Kolomna works only three new locomatives in all were built in January and 
February of 1920. In " Economic Life " No. 283 of the 16th December, 1920, it appears that the 
schedule of new engines for the Sormovo Works for the latter half of the year was eight, but that 
none were completed in the five months July to November. 

Quite as important as new building is the question of repairs. There is a great 
shortage of metal and of spare parts for repairs. The number of employees at 
many of the chief workshops is halved. They are badly fed and cannot do their normal amount of 
work. In many cases they are short not only of metal, but also the fuel so indispensable for 
engineering works. 

In spite of these drawbacks it is claimed that the proportion of engines requiring repair is less 
than the 58 per cent, to 60 per cent, shown in our table for January to June. ' Economic Life ' 
No. 226 states that it learns " from private sources " that on the 20th September the number of 
damaged locomotives had decreased to 57-1 per cent, and a list is given showing that on many 
railways the number repaired exceeded expectation. What the value of the " private sources " may 
be we do not know. We believe some improvement has taken place, but we notice complaints 
following these optimistic conclusions which lay stress on the absenteeism, the lack of skilled labour, 
the shortage of food, the waiting for material and the general slackness of workers at individual 

It is impossible for us to give detailed figures about the comparative speed of trains now as 
compared with before the war. We must confine ourselves to a few instances. 

One of our witnesses told us that in former days it took her twenty-eight hours to get from 
Moscow to Simbirsk, but she was nearly nine days doing the journey on the last occasion. 

Another witness said that ' ' it took three days to do a journey which in the ordinary time would 
have been done in between twelve to fifteen hours. The train kept stopping, the engines were only 
fed with wood, and they kept changing and putting on fresh engines." 

Mrs. Sheridan, a more recent traveller, mentioned how often the special train she was in had to 
stop on the journey to Eeval. 

On the other hand members of the British Labour Delegation who visited Eussia in the summer 
of 1920, said trains were running better and Mr. H. G. Wells travelled from Petrograd to Moscow in 
fourteen hours against the pre-war eleven. On the return journey his train took twenty-two hours. 

The evidence shows generally that the number of engines available as compared with the 
pre-war figure of 20,000 is not a measure of the mileage run or the traffic carried, but we have no 
material which would enable us to state even approximately how far proportionately the deterioration 
in Eussian Eailways has gone when compared with 1914 or 1916. It is, however, certain that they 
cannot be doing more than a comparatively small fraction of their former work. 

An interesting side-light on the confusion caused by bad management and changes of policy 
in regard to labour on the railways was given to us by Mr. Eichard Lunn. We give an extract 
from his evidence. 

' The experienced engine drivers took up situations in the co-operative store, or in anything 
less responsible, and let inexperienced people drive the engines, with the result that they were 
crocked up in no time. A man would leave his engine outside and not let the water off, or 
anything like that, so cylinders burst. Then be would not oil it up in time and the bearings were 
gone, and so on. Latterly in the repair shops they paid them a fixed wage, which was not 
very high, and they got congestion in the lines in the Moscow district. They did not unload 
there fast enough, so some clever man said he could soon cure that by putting them on 
piecework. The piecework meant that the people were earning nearly 1,000 roubles a day for 
inexperienced labour not doing hard work, whilst these men m the repair shops, the specialists, 
were getting about 100 roubles a day. Then they said in the repair shops : We can do that 
unloading, and out they went out of the repair shops, and of course no one was left there, as they 
had already got a very reduced staff. As a heroic measure they gave all the mills that had repair 
shops, a certain amount of rolling-stock and engines to repair. We got down at our place, 
I think it was, about twenty trucks and a locomotive. They had to repair these, and then 
they would be allowed to make two journeys to an appointed place in the south, I think it was to 
the Government of Tambov, and bring back corn for the people and fodder for the cattle. They 
would be allowed to do that twice, and then they would hand this rolling-stock back to the 
Government. Most of the repairs consisted of worn bearings and split and broken springs on 
the carriages, and of course just carpenters' repairs. There was also very bad management 
on the railways in this way: the derelict engines were put without any order on a side line, 
the ones with the least repairs to be done perhaps being put right at the back, and the ones 
with the heavy repairs to be done right in front. Then they introduced the bonus system 
I mentioned, which meant that if the gang did certain repairs they would get the day wage, 
and if they did more they would get double wages. In consequence they hauled out one of 
these really bad ones and stripped about ten or fifteen practically good locomotives at the back 
which required very little repair, in order to do this heavy repair on this one. They put this 
engine out, having spoilt about ten other engines at the back. But that did not concern them 
they got their pay, and that is all they bothered about." 


Coming down bo a later date an article in '" Economic Life * of the 27th July, 1920, deals at 
great Length with the difficulties that the Government have met with in their attempts to obtain 
labour for the improvement of railway conditions. This article lays stress on the lack of workmen 
and states that " there are sufficient numbers of workmen only in highly populated districts where 
food conditions are bad, while on the other hand there are very few workmen in remote and forest 
areas which are well-off as regards food." It adds that the approaching harvest has drawn workmen 
away from their employment, that the June decree on the mobilisation of workers referred to above 
has not only had no beneficial effect, but has resulted in the various Provinces refusing to release 
workers hired for employment in their Provinces and prepared to settle down there. It states 
further that the hire of workers in the spring was not successful as the activities of the hiring 
organisations were interfered with in the various localities to which they penetrated, and that 
sometimes the members of these organisations were arrested. It adds " the authorised repre- 
sentatives sent from the Central Government could only hire a single man." The lack of labour 
was, however, apparently made up to a certain extent by extensive use of machinery and by adopting 
a policy of short contract with premiums paid in kind. The article adds that in the previous winter 
1919-20) food supplies which reached the workers were quite insufficient, and in one case a staff of 
workers numbering some thousands who had been got together with great trouble had to be disbanded 
owing to the non-delivery of rations. 

It is impossible for us, with the information at our disposal to attempt to judge how far on the 
one hand railway transport was affected by the serious difficulties caused by war conditions and 
particularly by the civil wars in which Soviet Kussia was temporarily deprived of great stretches 
of territory containing railways, locomotives and rolling-stock, and how far, on the other, it suffered 
from the effects of the economic policy pursued by the Bolsheviks. 

Next spring another critical period will come. Unless many more new engines can be built in 
Eussia or imported from abroad,* and unless the necessary spare parts for repairs can be provided 
for repairs, it is difficult to see that much advance is likely to be made in 1921 and it is possible 
that there may even be retrogression on 1920. The latest figures which we have seen quoted in 
'Economic Life" of the 17th October, 1920, No. 232, claim that the engines repaired in July 
and August last exceeded those sent in for repairs by sixty-eight. Tables of spare parts given in the 
same paper, show in every case a serious shortage on the estimates, while the output of new engines 
is very small indeed and infinitesimal compared with the number urgently needed. There is also 
much complaint of the inferior quality of repairs executed. 

In a speech of Lenin's at the 8th All-Kussian Congress of Soviets in December 1920. he 
stated that the five years' programme of repairs of locomotives was likely to be completed in 
three -and -a -half years. We have no information as to the foundation of the statement and have 
seen no statistics which appear to confirm this sanguine view. 

Appendix V. 

Water Transport. 

Although for six months in the year the canals and waterways of Kussia are closed to traffic 
by ice, they form an important part of the transport organisation of the country and in view of 
the collapse of the railways their importance is immensely increased. 

The total length of the navigation system for vessels is about 102,230 miles of which 49,625 miles 
are in European Russia and 52,605 in Asiatic Russia. Besides this there are 31,310 miles in Siberia 
suitable for floating lumber. Each mile in European Russia serves a territory with an average 
population of 1,450 and each mile in Asiatic Russia a territory with 160 inhabitants. 

In Northern Russia navigation is open from May to October, in Central Russia from April to 
November, and in Southern Russia from March to November. In Siberia whilst the southern rivers 
are navigable from May to October in their southern courses and from May to September in their 
middle courses, in the northern parts the waterways are ice -free from June to August only. 

The fact that the rivers of European Russia have their sources so close to each other and no 
great difficulty presented itself in linking them up, led chiefly in the first half of the nineteenth 
century, to the construction of eight artificial systems of canals for this purpose. These systems 
with the rivers they connect give facilities for water transport from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from 
the White Sea to Lake Onega, to the Kara Sea and to Turkestan. 

The longest canal in the world is in Russia. It extends from Petrograd to the frontier of China 
and its total length is close upon 4,500 miles. 

In the year 1913 the amount of tonnage available on the Volga-Neva-Dvina northern system 
in the form of barges, lighters and other craft was 710,000,000 poods, and the tonnage transported 
2,226,657,000 poods of merchandise being 313-6 per cent, of the available tonnage. 

Although the tonnage remained constant the amount carried in 1916 fell to 1,747,496,000 poods 
or a decrease of 479,161,000 poods, representing a relation to the tonnage available of 246 per cent, 
as against 313-6 for 1913. 

In the year 1918 the amount carried fell from 1,747,496,000 poods to 419,468,000 poods a 
dimunition of no less than 1,807,189,000 poods from the figures of 1913. 

It is true that the amount of tonnage available fell from 710,000,000 poods to 700,000,000 poods 
over the same period, but this does not account for much of the decrease, for the amount carried 
represents in relation to tonnage available a fall from 246 per cent, to 59 per cent. 

* Trotsky has stated recently that 1,000 new locomotives would be imported from abroad in 
the latter half of 1921. 


In other words whilst in 1913 the amount transported represented over three times the tonnag'; 
available, and in 1916 the amount transported represented 2| times the tonnage available, the amount 
transported in 1918 represents only a little over one-half of the tonnage available, showing that during 
the navigational period in question nearly one-half of the barges and lighters were lying idle. 

We have no figures available to show the general position of the navigable period of 1919, but 
in " Economic Life " of the 29th February, 1920, when the necessary preparations for the approaching 
season of river navigation was in contemplation a statement is made regarding the position of water 
transport in the Volga-Kama Basin during 1919. 

From this statement it appears that 2,495 vessels giving a total tonnage of 152,640,000 poods 
was available with which it was hoped to transport goods weighing 27,580,000 poods. Not a very 
extravagant estimate for it does not even represent the use of one-fifth of the available tonnage. 
The actual result for the year was that only 10,216,517 were loaded and only 4,870,687 poods were 
actually delivered. Of the 1,247 barges available 248 were loaded, but only 145 reached their 
destination and these were not loaded to even one-half of their full carrying capacity. 

This very grave position coupled with the breakdown in railway transport led the Bolshevik 
Government to take the question of river and water transport into serious consideration, and a 
Congress of Water Transport Workers was convened and sat in Moscow during February 1920. 

At this Congress it was according to " Economic Life " of the 7th February, 1920, stated as 
follows : — 

"It is worthy of note that in normal times plans for the season's navigation are made in 
the preceding autumn. For this purpose vessels are usually disposed of by their owners in 
the autumn so as to be ready the following May and June to receive the cargoes which are 
accumulated during the winter and thus to avoid leaving such cargoes to lie too long, or any 
unproductive voyages on their own part. This preparatory work of sending the ships to the 
various stations where goods will accumulate is the first essential to the success of a fleet's 

Later on the same paper states: — 

" The following facts speak for the irregularities of transport and preparation of cargoes 
in 1919. The Chief Eiver Transport authority was called upon to satisfy in great number the 
most varied demands for tonnage. Ships were continually despatched to the most varied points, 
but on arriving there they either found no cargoes at all or cargoes in a considerably less 
quantity that they had been allowed to suppose. Therefore ships either lost weeks without 
result or went away loaded with less than 50 per cent, of their carrying capacity." 

As regards the navigable season of 1920 it was stated as follows : — 

'Notwithstanding the fact . that during the autumn of 1919 no instructions were given to 
the fleet by the forwarding agents of cargoes, the " Water Transport organisation itself neverthe- 
less managed to effect a distribution of ships at the required points, and at the present time 
for the first period of May-June a sufficient number of ships will have been stationed by the 
spring of 1920 at or near the wharves where most of the corn cargoes are. 

' The organs of the People's Commissariat must immediately get ready cargoes. Besides 
these organs other organisations should forthwith notify the points whither their cargoes are 
to be shipped, and should also begin in the near future to transport thorn to the wharves." 

' Economic Life " of the 12th February, 1920, after explaining that the unsuccessful results 
of the navigation period, of 1919 was to be explained above all by the food difficulties and military 
events, states that the building of 498 vessels and the repairing of 590 had been begun, and that 
the number of vessels ready for use did not exceed 1,000. These figures apply to the northern area. 
In " Economic Life " of the 29th February, 1920, it is stated that in all there were 1,434 ships 
available on the Volga-Kama system with which it was proposed to transport approximately 
319,000,000 poods of goods during the navigable period then approaching, of which 227,100,000 were 
to be transported before the end of August. 

From information supplied to us by Dr. Haden Guest it would seem that with the liberation of 
Baku a considerable revival took place in water transport which is accounted for by the fact that 
76 per cent, of the fleet worked upon naptha. It was claimed on the 14th September, 1920, by the 
Moscow Wireless News that 137,000,000 poods had actually been carried up to the 1st August on 
all the inland waterways. If this figure is correct it can only represent a very small fraction of the 
merchandise carried on the same waterways before the war. 

According to witnesses the deterioration is in a measure due to the barges being left out in the 
winter. Under private ownership barges were protected against the ice when it came down in the 
spring. Under nationalisation no one attended to them and " a whole fleet of barges was simply 
cut by the ice and sank " according to one of our witnesses, Mr. Bennett, partner in the firm of 
Messrs. William Miller and Co. 

" Economic Life " for the 29th February, 1920, states as follows: — 

' The great lack of materials and skilled workmen and th-3 lack of method and forethought 
in getting ready the vessels of the Water Transport Authority has influenced the success of the 
work of repairing ships." 

It is interesting to note that 84 per cent, of the steamships were completely repaired, but only 
52 per cent, of the barges. This is explained by the fact that steamships are mostly repaired by their 
own crews whilst a separate class of experienced workmen, an extraordinary scarcity of whom was 
experienced last year, are necessary for repairing barges. 


TIr- general impression left upon our minds by a study of these figures, the whole of which 
are derived or purport to emanate from Bolshevik sources, is that water transport has suffered from 
lack of organisation and cohesion from loss of tonnage combined with lack of fuel and also, until 1920. 
from civil war having deprived the Soviet Government of command of some of the important rivers 
and canals 

At. the Congress of Water Transport Workers at Moscow to which reference has already been 
made the People's Commissary, Rykov, as reported in the Moscow Wireless News of the 20th 
March, L920, made the following statements in his opening speech: — 

1 must point out that owing to the spirit of decision of workmen's organisations we have been 
able to obtain in this field a success infinitely superior to that which we obtained on the 

' The reason for this is that we have applied the revolutionary Bolshevik energy of the 
masses of the workpeople to the organisations of the national service of watei transport. "We 
have in our hands a unique apparatus. The success obtained is so considerable that it may 
serve as a model and as an example for the other branches of industry." 

It is interesting to note that Trotsky made a statement in exactly the opposite sense at the 
8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets in December 1920. This flat contradiction between two men 
wielding such high authority illustrates the difficulties we have met with in trying to arrive at the 

From the following summary of the total water transport on the Volga, Marinsk and Northern 
Territorial Waterways given in " Economic Life " of the 17th October, 1920, it will be seen that 
details are given regarding the amount of commodities forwarded, and the actual amount which 
arrived at their destination. 

Summary of Water Transport up to the 1st October, 1920. 
(In Thousands of Poods.) 

Territorial Administration of- 





n , f Forwarded . 

Cpreals 1 Arrived .. 

c ,. [Forwarded . . 
salt .. .. .. . . < . . j 

^ Arrived 

rv j i , f Forwarded . . 
Fire- wood and log's . . . . < . . , 
& \ Arrived 

Building materials of timber . . < . ' . , 
& } Arrived 

n j -l i ± ( Forwarded . . 
(Jrude oil and mazout . . • • 1 A " d 

Kerosene and other petroleum j Forwarded . . 
products . . . . . . | Arrived 

Other freights 1 Forwarded . . 
Utner treignts . . . ••"( Arrived .. 

60,41 1 






























n , . i f Forwarded . . 

1 Arrived 


124,300 59,731 
120,560 59,731 


The total amount therefore transported was 354,032,000 poods. 

The total amount transported on the European waterways during the whole of the navigating 
season, 1910, was 2,663,000,000 poods. We have been unable to obtain information as to the actual 
amount transported during 1920 on the Volga, Marinsk, and Northern Territorial Waterways, but 
it is clear that the figure of 354,032,000 given above as the amount transported upon them during 
1920 is a very small percentage of the total figure for 1910 having regard to the fact that these 
waterways are the most important in European Russia. 


According to "Economic Life," of the 17th October, 1920, No. 232, the aggregate length of 
the waterways of Siberia at the present time is 122,199 versts of which 73,818 versts are navigable 
by vessels and 47,234 versts fit for floating lumber. The figure 122,199 probably refers to the same 
waterways as those stated in the Russian Year Book to have a length of 130,374 versts. According 
to the same article, it was proposed during the navigating season of 1920 to convey 40,435,502 poods 
on the Ob-Irtysh section, and up to the 1st August, that is covering a period of three months of 
water transport from the time of the opening of the navigation about the 1st May, 18,427,303 poods 
had been transported on this section, i.e., about 6,000,000" poods a month. It may be estimated that 
it would only be possible to continue to transport by water during the months of August and 
September, and estimating that 6,000,000 poods were transported during each of these months, it 
is to be assumed that about 30,000,000 poods were transported during the whole navigating season 
on this section. The amount of goods conveyed on the Ob-Irtysh section was 69,188,000 poods in 
1909, and the amount transported on the waterways of the Ob-Irtysh basin increased in amount 


during more recent years, and was approximately 70 per cent, of the total cargoes conveyed on the 
waterways of Siberia. We estimate that the amount transported on the Ob-Irtysh in 1920 was 
not more than 30 per cent, of the amount conveyed during the years immediately preceding the war. 

The steam, vessels available on the section during 1920 are said to have numbered 198 and 
non-steam vessels 498. This compares with 231 steam vessels in 1916 and 671 non-steam vessels. 
In the year 1909 'there were 136 steam and 531 non-steam vessels. 

According to " Economic Life " for the 17th October, it was proposed to transport 4,600,000 
poods on the Yenesei section during 1920 and up to the 1st August, 2,296,651 had been transported. 
If an average of 700,000 is taken as the amount transported monthly during May, June and July, 
and it be assumed that this rate was kept up during August and September, the total transported 
on the Yenesei for the whole of the navigating season would be about 3,700,000 to 3,800,000. In 
1912, 11,000,000 poods were transported during the whole season. During 1920 there were 27 steam 
and 64 non-steam vessels on the Yenesei and this compares with 42 steam and 65 non-steam vessels 
in 1916. 

Appendix VI. 

Extracts from 'Materials on the History of the Social and Revolutionary Movement in Russia." 

Volume I. — The Bolsheviks. 

(Translation from Russian.) 

Chapter IV. 

The revolution accomplished by Lenin in the summer of 1911 among the foreign centres of the party. Dissolution of the 
Menshevik " Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee " and the formation of Bolshevik centres. The " Leninites " 
prepare for an All- Russian Conference. Party groupings m 1911. The Lenin School of Propagandists at Longumeaui 
(near Paris). The Mensheviks on Lenin's coup d'Etat. Activity of Lenin's agents in Russia in the work of convoking the 
conference. Smuggling of illegal literature into Russia from abroad. 

In the spring of 1911 Lenin desired to summon a meeting of the Central Committee of the 
Bussian Social Democratic Labour Party, on the initiative of the Foreign Bureau. He was, however, 
prevented from doing so by the energetic opposition of Boris Isaakovich Goldman, the representative 
of the " Golosovtsy" and by the position of neutrality adopted by Ber, the representative of the 
Jewish 'Bund' and Shvarts, the Lettish representative, on the Foreign Bureau. Lenin then 
summoned to Paris Alexander Rykov,* who had just fled abroad from his place of exile in Russia 
They organised a private Conference of Bolsheviks, with a view to discussing the position which 
had arisen. Among those who attended the conference were Semashko, Kamenev, Zinovievt and 
Tishko, whose real name was Lev Jogikhes, a Jew born in Poland. 

At the meeting Lenin pointed out the inability of the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee 
to supervise efficiently the secret activities of the party in Russia itself. He also dwelt upon his 
failure to convoke a plenary session of the Central Committee. He therefore proposed that the 
Bolshevik representatives and the Polish representative Tishko should leave the Foreign Bureau of 
the Central Committee, and ignoring it, request Rykov, as the only member of the Russian section 
of the Central Committee remaining at liberty, to take upon himself the task of summoning a plenary 
session of the Central Committee. Lenin's proposal was accepted by those present. In accordance 
with this decision, unquestionably revolutionary from the point of view of party discipline, Semashko 
left the Foreign Bureau, in doing which he appears to have appropriated the funds in his possession 
as its secretary and treasurer. Rykov, on his part, immediately sent invitations for the proposed 
plenary conference to all the members of the Central Committee who were available. 

It should be noted that Tishko, who participated in the conference and subscribed to its 
resolutions, did not leave the Foreign Bureau, advancing as his reasons for not doing so that 
juridically the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee could not be dissolved by the decision of a 
private conference, nor indeed until a Congress or plenary session of the Central Committee had 
been convoked. He also stated that it was necessary for someone to remaiD in the Bureau for 
intelligence purposes and to counteract the influences of the hostile camp. The invitations of 
Rykov were answered by Lenin, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Tishko, Ber, J representing the "Bund." 
Goldman, representative of the " Golosovtsy," the Lett Shvarts and Rykov himself joined them. 
Four Mensheviks returned no answer whatever to the invitation. Goldman informed the meeting 
that he could only take part in a discussion on condition that it was understood that the meeting 
was an informal one and that the resolutions which it might make would not be of a binding 
character. Ber and Shvarts also stated that they would take part in the meeting only with a 
consultative voice as they had neither of them received any mandates from their Central Committee 
(the representatives of National Organisations for a general meeting of the Central Committee of the 
party are delegated thereto by their National Central Committee and are not elected by the Congress 

* Rykov is the present president of the Supreme Council of People's Economy. 

t Semashko is the present People's Commissary for Public Health, Kamenev is the president 
of the Moscow Soviet who visited England during 1920, and left soon after in connection with 
revelations concerning the disposal of Bolshevik jewels, Zinoviev is the present president of the 
Petrograd Soviet and president of the Third or Communist International. 

t Ber is believed to be identical with the Menshevik Ber who was exiled on account of his 
political activities from the Ukraine to the Russo-Georgian frontier in November 1920, by order of 
Rakovsky, the president of the Council of People's Commissaries of the Ukraine Soviet Government. 
The " Golosovtsy " were a Menshevik group. 

[5631] S 


itself). Five persons, therefore, only remained with a decisive voice. It was therefore impossible 
to contemplate a " plenary session," not only then, but at any future time, under these conditions. 
In view of this it was decided to regard the meeting as a private conference of members of the 
Central Committor. The Bolsheviks, the Polish representative Tishko and the ' Golosoviets," 
Goldman, therefore took part in it with the right of a deciding voice, while the representative of the 
' Bund " and the Lett only did so with a consultative voice. When later, however, during one of 
the subsequent sessions, Lenin proceeded to attack the "Bund," and its absent representative 
Dan, Ber left the meeting and appeared no more. The first few meetings, were almost exclusively 
devoted to Lenin's attacks on what he described as " the characteristic liquidating tendencies of the 
Mensheviks " (he refers to their tendency to close down all the illegal or semi-legal Social Democratic 
Organisations in Russia). He pointed out that for a long time to come the existence in Russia both 
of an illegal revolutionary party, as also of organisations, able to exert influence upon the political 
life of the State, and able to guide mass movements, was out of the question, for all such party 
institutions had sunk into a state of dissolution. The convening of a plenary session and of a 
conference was therefore unnecessary, and the re-establishment of the organisations in Russia would 
be a work of Sisyphus. In his opinion, therefore, it would be far more expedient to utilise the 
remnant of the party strength and means on the formation of a special concentrated unit out of 
professional party workers, who would show themselves the guardians of the party thought, and 
who would, by means of broadcast legal and illegal propaganda and agitation, inculcate the masses 
with the necessary principles for developing revolutionary action. This form of cultural leadership 
would prepare a sympathetic atmosphere, in which, under favourable circumstances, a numerous arj.J 
influential party could be quickly formed. 

This scheme of Lenin's worked out in practice as follows: It was, of course, necessary that 
legal and illegal organisations should exist if any fruitful party work was to be carried on. There 
would have to be a press, which would be the organ of the cultural leadership of which he spoke 
and the instrument of propaganda among the working masses. Side by side with this press there 
should exist a staff of special party correspondents and agents in all the important centres of Russia. 
These would keep the literary propagandists informed upon the situation in Russia, would receive 
instructions from abroad and carry them out with regard to local legal and, in so far as they 
existed, illegal groups. These agents, together with the workers abroad, would form the desired 
secret nucleus, the foreign organisation of which would combat all tendencies opposed to the party, 
carry on its literary work and, on a basis of the information received from Russia, define the 
necessities of the moment. In general, the question of organising this secret nucleus and of dissolving 
the Russian secret party institutions carried with it in Lenin's report the ulterior motive of 
re-establishing, in a modified form, an independent faction. When this proposal was not accepted, 
Lenin suggested that, although the present meeting was only attended by five persons having a right 
to cast votes, it should none the less be considered a plenary session of the Central Committee on the 
ground that the five members present represented themselves the only part of the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party which displayed true loyalty to the party programme and exemplary energy 
in action. 

When this proposal was rejected, Lenin and Kamenev declared that they were no longer able 
to co-operate on the editorial staff of the central organ together with Martov and Dan, in view of 
the fact that the former had published a pamphlet, which contradicted the party programme, and 
contrary to political ethics, having as its object to inform the Departments of the Secret Police 
regarding the secret activities of the party and affording valuable material for the prosecution of 
individual party workers; the latter had insisted on the formation in Russia itself of a Collegium 
of the Central Committee, although he was perfectly aware that such a project was doomed to 
failure. A discussion ensued upon these points, and only after they had been satisfactorily dealt 
with, did Lenin and Kamenev withdraw their declaration. The meeting then proceeded to discuss 
the practical questions of convoking a plenary session of the Central Committee and of the general 
conference of the party. The idea of summoning a plenary session of the Central Committee 
composed of the members suggested above was abandoned entirely. It was decided to make a final 
attempt to resume work in the party organisation within Russia — to convoke as soon as possible 
a conference of representatives of those organisations, being guided in this by the decision of the 
Paris plenum of the Central Committee, which had met in January 1910. This decision meant 
summoning the delegates of illegal and legal groups and organisations, on condition of a recognition 
by the legal organisations of the necessity for the existence of the secret units of the party. It was 
decided to give effect to this decision by forming abroad a special organising commission, to which 
should be accorded the right of co-opting upon its staff the representatives of all literary groups of 
the party abroad (the "Pravda," the " Vpered," " Golos Social Demokrata," of the Plekhanovtsy 
and National Organisations). It was decided also to form if possible a similar commission within 
Russia itself, charging it with organising the elections for the proposed conference. In this case the 
foreign commission would confine itself to the technical work of arranging for the delegates, elected 
in Russia to cross the frontier, to seeking the necessary financial support for the conference, and to 
conducting pourparlers with the representatives of the literary groups. It was agreed that the 
personnel of the Russian Commission, with the exception of the representative of the party centre 
abroad, should be elected and reinforced by delegates from the most important party organisations 
within the Empire. As the members of the Russian Organising Commission were more or less 
decided upon at this conference, it was secretly proposed that these persons should at all costs 
obtain mandates for themselves from one organisation or another. Should the representatives of 
the above-mentioned literary groups desire to become members of the foreign Organising Commission, 
a special secret arrangement was agreed upon at the conference providing for the invitation of two 
more Bolsheviks to supplement the personnel of the Organising Commission, with a view to 
maintaining the predominance of the Bolsheviks and Poles upon it. 

The following persons were appointed as members of the commission: Kamenev, Semashko, 
Rykov, A. I. Liubimov and Tishko. It was also decided that Rykov should undertake pourparlers 
with Plekhanov with regard to the activity of the commission, and should also maintain contact 
with the representatives of the foreign literary groups with regard to its activities. Although 


Plekhanov approved of the revolutionary coup d'Etat which had been carried through by the 
conference, he abstained from any participation in the labours of the Organising Commission until 
the attitude towards it of the other sections of the party became clear. He appears to have feared 
that the conference summoned by the commission would be attended only by Bolsheviks, that other 
points of view of the party would not be represented, and that he, Plekhanov, would find himself 
in the position of an honoured guest, and not of leader of one of the most influential party groups. 

The followers of Trotsky and the ' ' Vperedovtsy " or " Forwards ' ' returned no positive answer 
with regard to attending the conference, as they were not sure that they would not together be able 
to hold a conference of their own in concert with the " Golosovtsy." The " Golosovtsy," in answer 
to the invitation to participate in the work of the Organising Commission, declared that they would 
enter it only if all party views were represented equally at it. This declaration indicated that 
there was hardly any hope of the " Golosovtsy " taking part in the conference. Then followed 
decisive steps directed towards the immediate organisation of the election of delegates to the proposed 
conference from the Party Organisations within the Empire. For this purpose specially authorised 
agents of the Organising Commission were sent to Baku, Ekaterinoslav and Kiev. The Kiev 
Committee, represented almost entirely by Mensheviks, succeeded actually in passing a resolution 
in favour of the action of the conference and also of the Organising Commission which the conference 
had set up. and they set to work to elect a delegate to the conference and appointed their 
representative on the Organising Commission in Eussia. 

Alexander Rykov was entrusted with the organisation and direction of the Russian Branch of 
the Organising Commission. He proposed to invite the co-operation of Nikoli Nikolaevich 
Mandelshtam (an artisan from the Moscow area) in the work of the Russian Organising Commission. 
as well as of the persons who it was proposed should be elected by the local organisation. Joseph 
Petrovich Goldberg, who was living at this time together with Mandelshtam in Nizhny Novgorod, 
and Nikolai Vasilievich Romanov, an experienced party worker, who had great influence in the 
Smolensk district, were also co-opted upon the Russian Organising Commission, the personnel of 
which it was proposed should number eight. It was suggested that the proposed conference should 
take place in September or October 1911, and the delegates would, it was hoped, assemble at 
Cracow, near which it was intended to hire a country house for the purpose of accommodating them 
and holding the conference It was anticipated that about thirty delegates from Russia would attend 
it, of whom ten to fifteen would leave the country legally, while the rest would cross the Prussian 
frontier with the help of special agents. Vladimirsky (now Assistant Commissary for Internal Affairs) 
took the place of Rykov on the Foreign Organising Commission. 

A so-called Technical Commission was formed of Rykov, Zinoviev and Tishko for the purpose of 
obtaining the necessary financial assistance to cover the expenses of the conference. As for some 
time past the party had existed exclusively on the funds of the Bolsheviks, it was essential at all 
costs to obtain the consent of Kautsky, Mering and Klara Tsetkin, the trustees of the Bolshevik 
funds, to advance certain sums, not to the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee, as they had 
done formerly, but to the Technical Commission which had replaced it. Tishko, who was in touch 
through Rosa Luxemburg, with her friend Klara Tsetkin, undertook to arrange this and to remove 
the possible misunderstanding which might arise in the course of it. He succeeded in obtaining the 
agreement of the trustees to place 40,000 fr. at the disposal of the Technical Commission for the 
purpose of meeting the expenses of the conference. After this a fight took place due to the dictatorial 
tendencies of Lenin himself. The money was deposited in the bank in his name and, on every 
occasion, his sanction was necessary in order to draw upon it. When the Technical Commission asked 
leave to draw the first monthly instalment, Lenin declared that he would not give the money unless 
the members of the Technical Commission would agree to revise the Party Budget. In other words 
Lenin demanded the right of actual control over the actions of the Technical Commission which 
bad assumed the function of the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee. In view of the 
impossibility of arriving at any agreement on this point, Tishko again repaired to Berlin, and, as a 
result of his journey, the trustees addressed a special letter to Lenin and to the members of the 
Technical Commission. In this letter, Klara Tsetkin and the others declared that they had agreed 
to release the money to the Organising and Technical Commissions only because they recognised 
them as organs of the revolutionary wing of the party and were in agreement with their activity. 
If, therefore, Lenin in future continued to distrust the activities of institutions, which had been 
created by himself, and to impede the execution of the tasks which had been 
imposed on these institutions, they, the trustees, would be compelled to bring his action to the 
knowledge of the International Socialist Bureau. The threat took effect. Lenin climbed down and 
withdrew the demands he had put forward. A revision of the Party Budget then took place, *and 
certain economies were effected with regard to expenditure on the central organ, the smuggling of 
literature into Russia, &c. 

His deep conviction that extensive organising work within Russia was impossible at that time, 
compelled Lenin to approach the forthcoming conference from two different points of view. In the 
first place, he. considered it too risky openly to declare himself in favour of the liquidation of the 
illegal organisations within the Empire as, in that case, he would not only deprive himself of a point 
of attack against the Legalist-Liquidators, but quite possibly alienate the Bolsheviks working in 
Russia who did not agree with him. Therefore, although he considered a general conference of 
the party as inexpedient and in no way desired it, Lenin nevertheless declared that officially he had 
nothing against the conference and would even take an active part in the preparatory work of 
organising it. 

On the rther hand, Lenin knew qiute well that, by guaranteeing a majority of votes and mandates 
to the Bolsheviks at the forthcoming conference, it would be possible to identify the party once 
and for all with the Bolshevik section, and, if he were successful in carrying his proposal at the 
conference in one or another form, he would thus secure for them the party sanction which he so 
much desired. He therefore insisted categorically in the Organising Commission that the repre- 
sentatives of the latter should, in securing the election of delegates of the Party Organisations within 
the Empire to the conference, whatever these organisations or groups might be as regards their 

[56311 S 2 


party tendencies, secure the election only of Bolsheviks. ' If in any organisation," said he, " there 
are a hundred Mensheviks or a hundred followers of Trotsky, and only five Bolsheviks, then the 
representative to the conference must be sent from these five, and not from the remaining hundred." 

For the more successful carrying into effect of this view, Lenin sent two of his agents to Russia 
(1) Y. A. Breslav, who had lived, not counting short visits to Russia, for three years in Paris. 
Breslav journeyed specially to Petrograd to conduct a campaign in the Vasiliostrov district against 
the " Vperedovtsy " or " Forwards." He was told that he must succeed in maintaining the mandate 
lo the conference from that district. It was arranged that he should pass under the name of 
Khazarov " in Petrograd. Correspondence would be maintained with him through the following 
address: " Kudny, Province of Mogiliev," and the inner envelop would bear the mark " for Boris." 
It was stated that this information was of a highly confidential character and was under no 
circumstances to be revealed. 

(2.) J. S. Shvarts, who went under the names of " Semen " and " Ignaty " and also " Afanasy ' 
had been living in Geneva in 1904. He was an active worker of the party in the Ural and in Odessa. 
He proceeded to the Ural on this occasion with similar instructions to those of Breslav, i.e., to 
recruit as many Bolshevik delegates as possible for the forthcoming conference. Max Saveliev, the 
son of a member of the Duma, also proceeded to Russia about this time upon the same mission, and 
first proceeded to Nizhny Novgorod. 

At the same time, Lenin actively endeavoured to ensure that party workers who were at that 
time attending the Propaganda School in Paris should be sent mandates for the conference from the 
local organisations in Russia. It is necessary to remark that these pupils were under the direct 
and uncontrolled influence of the Leninites. Thus if the conference took place under the 
circumstances desired by Lenin, the Bolshevik section would finally assume complete control over 
the party. A secret Bolshevik centre, composed of Lenin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Rykov, came into 
being, and one of the results of its activity was the printing of the above-mentioned resolution of 
the Kiev Committee, approving the coup d'Etat which had been carried out abroad. Copies of this 
resolution were scattered among the Party Organisations and supplied with commentaries by the 
members of the Secret Bolshevik Centre, recommending other organisations to follow the example 
of the Kiev Committee. In addition to this, no effort was spared in order to discredit the supporters 
of non-Bolshevik tendencies in the party and, by calling forth in this way an outburst of indignation, 
to incite the non-Bolsheviks to abandon all thought of participating in the conference and so to 
facilitate the realisation of Lenin's scheme. 

In contra-distinction to Lenin and his intimate supporters, who were looked upon as essentially 
irreconcilable sectionalists, regarding their own Bolshevik views as the only true party programme, 
there existed a section of the Bolsheviks, who were not opposed to Lenin upon questions of general 
policy and tactics, but who in questions of organisation had not abandoned the hope of restoring the 
illegal organisations within the Empire and who were endeavouring to carry into effect the intentions 
of the plenary session of the Central Committee of January 1910, regarding the unification of the 
Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. These Bolsheviks were striving to conclude a definite agreement for 
the further co-operation on a common basis of the representatives of all party views, all groups 
agreeing on the necessity of working in the provinces in Russia and of recognising those who were 
engaged in fostering the existence of illegal organisations. 

This group was led by Dubrovinsky, Victor Nogin,* Rykov and Liubimov, and had a considerable 
number of supporters, chiefly among party workers within the Empire, and it was thought that the 
group would play a prominent part in the further history of the party, especially if the proposed 
conference took place. If it did not take place, it was thought that the above leaders would throw 
in their lot unreservedly with the Leninites. 

The work of preparing for the proposed conference was considerably interfered with by the 
arrest of Alexander Rykov in Moscow in August 1911. The task of organising the Russian section 
of the Organising Commission therefore fell entirely upon the shoulders of Breslav, Shvarts and 
Saviliev. Shvarts seems to have succeeded in touring the Ural, visiting Ekaterinburg, Ufa, 
Ekaterinoslav, and also Baku and Tiflis in the Caucasus, organising meetings and addressing the 
local organisations of the party, whom he persuaded to elect members to the Russian Organising 
Commission which, in its turn, w T as to elect the delegates for the conference. If, therefore, he 
succeeded in securing the majority of Bolsheviks upon the Organising Commission, there was little 
doubt that the Bolsheviks would have a majority among those actually chosen as representatives of 
the party at the conference. Shvarts succeeded in getting himself elected as the representative of 
the Ekaterinburg Organisation on the Organising Commission, while G. K. Orzhonikidze,t a pupil 
at the Propaganda School at Lonjumeaux (now a member of the All-Russian Central Executive 
Committee) was elected to the commission from Ekaterinoslav. Breslav succeeded in getting 
himself nominated by the organisations at Baku, and also took upon himself the temporary repre- 
sentation of the Moscow Organisation, with whom he had not yet succeeded in getting into touch 
owing to the dangers presented by the vigilance of the police in the Moscow area. I. S. Bielostotsky, 
a Little Russian, and also a pupil of the Propaganda School at Lonjumeaux was elected by the 
Petrograd organisation. 

A meeting of the above-mentioned persons (excepting Breslav, who had at last succeeded in 
getting into touch with the Party Organisations in the Central Industrial District round Moscow) 
•took place in Baku in September. The meeting constituted itself a session of the ' Russian 
Organising Commission," and prepared an address to the various illegal organisations within the 

* Victor Nogin is to-day president of the Glav-Texile, or Central Board of Administration of the 
Textile Industries. He visited England in May 1920, as a member of the Soviet Russian Trade 

I Orzhonikidze, who is a Georgian, was elected a member of the Presidium of the 8th All-Russian 
Congress of Soviets, which met at Moscow in December 1920. He was a member of the 7th All- 
Russian Central Executive Committee during 1920, and has been elected a member of the 8th for 
1921, and in March 1921 became a member of the Georgian Soviet, established at Tiflis after the fall 
of the Georgian Menshevik Government. 


Empire, declaring itself not only the technical organ, charged with the preparation of the elections 
for the conference, but also the provisional executive centre, aiming at re-establishing and 
strengthening the Social Democratic Secret Organisations, and at exercising general control over 
the work of the party as a whole. 

Orzhonikidze was appointed to proceed abroad as the representative of the Russian Organising 
and Technical Commission upon the Organising and Technical Commission which had been formed 
there. He was directed to inform these organisations abroad that they should regard the instructions 
of the Organising and Technical Commission in Russia as binding upon themselves. In other words 
rt was supposed that the foreign organisation should become the mouthpiece of the newly formed 
institution in Russia. 

It is not unnatural that a dispute should have arisen upon this question, and that the Organisation 
and Technical Commissions abroad objected to the demands presented to them by Orzhonikidze on 
behalf of the organisations in Russia, and they intimated that they were only prepared to take 
knowledge of the decisions of the "Russian Organising Committee," and to act regarding them as 
circumstances might dictate. 

Meanwhile the representatives of the various organisations of the party abroad began to realise 
that the elections carried out under the direction of the Leninite delegates would inevitably result 
in creating a very high feeling at the conference itself, which, as regards the personnel of those 
participating in it, would undoubtedly side with the " Russian Organising Commission," which had 
been created in accordance with Lenin's desire. They therefore began to take measures towards 
delaying the summoning of the conference, in the hope that they might be able to change the 
unfavourable atmosphere which was being formed as far as concerned the opponents of Lenin's 
policy. They had proposed to the Leninites that Dan and Martov should again be admitted as 
members of the editorial staff of the Central Organ. This request was refused and the " Technical 
Commission " declined to provide the funds for publishing the twenty-fourth number of the paper 
' Social Democrat," which subsequently appeared later than usual, having been published on funds 
privately provided. Considerable astonishment was then caused by the arbitrary action of the 
* Technical Commission " in confiscating, without cause shown, a pamphlet of Zinoviev " On the 
Elections to the Fourth Duma," published by the staff of the Central Organ. This called forth a 
series of protests on the part of a considerable number of prominent party workers of all tendencies, 
and removed any possibility there might have been of restoring the unity of the party as desired by 
the moderate Bolshevik group. 

Meanwhile the 'Russian Organising Commission," completely ignoring the attitude of the 
foreign organisations of the party towards it, concluded their session and its representatives dispersed 
to the districts which had elected them and proceeded to arrange the election to the conference of 
those whom they desired, strictly holding to the decisions of Lenin with regard to their mission — 
that in all cases they should endeavour to secure the election only of Bolsheviks of his way of 
thinking. As a result of their activity Bolshevik representatives were elected by the Party Organisa- 
tions in Petrograd, Tiflis, Nikolaev, Baku, Saratov and Kazan. Mensheviks were returned from 
Ekaterinoslav and Kiev. 

Meanwhile Breslav had found it difficult to establish contact with the Party Organisations in 
Moscow. These organisations were of great importance from the point of view of the party, and 
he therefore realised how essential it was to assure their representation at the conference. At the 
same time he was pressed for time and obstructed by the police; he therefore overcame the difficulty 
in the following manner. He invited two or three persons belonging to the Leather Workers' Trade 
Cnion and, without regard to their measure of education or political views, proceeded to acquaint 
them with the resolution which had been prepared beforehand by the Technical Commission, and 
asked whether they agreed with it. They agreed. He then proceeded to note the fact that the 
urbanisation of this particular Moscow district, on being asked, had accepted the resolution promising 
their co-operation with and support of the work of the "Russian Organising Commission." He 
repeated these methods in the case of other districts of Moscow. As an example of the haste which 
he showed in doing this, attention may be drawn to the resolutions which he said were passed by the 
organisations of the " Preobrazhensky " district. No such district exists. This mistake was after- 
wards noticed by the editorial staff of the Central Party Organ, in which these resolutions were 
printed, and a correction inserted showing that the resolutions referred to were carried by the 
organisations of the " Preobrazhensky ' sub-district and not by those of the non-existent 
' Preobrazhensky ' district. Breslav succeeded in arming himself with proofs that he had 
' re-established " the activities of the Secret Party Organisations in Moscow, and proceeded to crown 
his work by organising the election of the delegates for the projected conference. Up to then Breslav 
had not attempted in actuality to work among the secret circles of the party. When, however, he 
and his assistant Prisyagin (member of the Leather Workers' Union, and recently a pupil at the 
propagandist school at Lonjumeaux) arranged to meet N. S. Mamontov, a trusted party worker, and 
certain representatives of the secret organisations, they were suddenly arrested by the police, who 
had for some time been keeping Mamontov under close observation. The meeting at which they 
were arrested took place at Baranov's Inn in the Sukharev Square. 

The arrest of Breslav, following on that of Rykov, cut off the " Russian Organising Commission ' 
from Moscow and the central industrial district. In the month of November the question of holding 
the conference so ardently prepared for by the Leninites, in the absence of representatives of the 
Central Industrial District began to be discussed. On the 2nd December an enthusiastic follower 
of Lenin, Goloschekin, arrived in Moscow, having escaped from exile in Siberia. The " Russian 
Technical Commission " being deprived of all possibility of communicating with Moscow, authorised 
Goloschekin to do all he could to secure delegates from Moscow for the conference, and to send 
them abroad as soon as possible. He was specially instructed to see that Bolsheviks only were 
delegated. The Moscow organisations of the party, were, however, almost entirely destroyed. For 
a considerable time they had been without literature and leaderless. Goloshehekin was" therefore 
unable to do anything with the illegal organisations. He was therefore forced to have recourse to the 
legal organisations. With the exception of the Weavers' and the Leather Makers' Unions there w r as 
only a social club (founded by local Mensheviks, standing aloof from the party) which could be 


regarded as having any influence in Moscow. These organisations, again, were in no better case 
than the secret organisations so far as concerned the receiving of party literature and the organising 
activities of party loaders. Their members were, therefore, glad to welcome Goloshchekin as bringing 
them some news of party events in the outside world, and they soon enabled him to form a so-called 
Moscow Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, which began to get into touch 
with various factories and commercial enterprises in Moscow. In this organising work, Goloshchekin 
was helped by a Saratov artisan girl, Valentina Lobova. Both of them were ultimately elected 
by the " Moscow Committee " as their representatives for the conference. Goloshchekin left Russia 
on the 21st December, 1911. Lobova's husband fell ill and this prevented her from going. A meeting 
of the " Moscow Committee " which took place in a private room at the Rozhdestvensky restaurant 
on New Year's Eve 1912 was broken up by the police who took the names of all present. 

Lenin's hope of calling a conference abroad with an overwhelming preponderence of his own 
followers were disappointed. By the beginning of the New Year only seven delegates (five Bolsheviks, 
and two Mensheviks) had arrived in Paris from Russia. Even the most optimistically disposed could 
hardly bring themselves to regard these seven as representing and expressing the opinions of all the 
Social Democratic Groups within the Empire. 

About 'this time there appeared in No. 23 of the " Pravda," a decision of the Central Committee 
of the Lettish Social Democratic Party, proposing that a new organising; commission should be 
formed and that representatives of the Letts, the Poles, the " Bund," the followers of Plekhanov and 
representatives of the 'Russian Organising Commission' should compose it. This "United 
Organising Committee," should immediately summon a general party conference, having as its 
object the re-establishment of a united Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. 

Wishing to forestall events and desiring at the same time to secure the attendance of new 
delegates at the conference which he had arranged for his personal aims, Lenin began sending a 
second batch of his representatives to Russia. 

It would seem that these emissaries were more successful. The arrangements for sending 
delegates to the conference were soon completed and it was decided that it should take place at 
League in January 1912. I. S. Tarshis, an artisan from the town of Vilkomir in the Kovno Province, 
was entrusted with supplying the delegates with the funds necessary for making the journey and 
with passports. He was the trusted agent of the party for distributing literature m European 
Russia and in 1907 he acted as secretary of the Moscow Committee of the Russian Social Democratic 
Labour Party. He was assisted in his work by M. I. Bryandinsky, formerly a teacher in Kazan, an 
exile on two occasions in Siberia and finally throughout the period which is being described, one of 
the principal agents of the Russian secret police. A report of the conference will be found in the 
following chapter. 

Chapter V. 

The " Lenin " General Party Conference at Prague in January 1912. The Mensheviks prepare for their own G-eneral Party 
Conference. Position of the "Conciliators" (those who desired to effect a unification of the party by bringing the 
Bolsheviks and Mensheviks together). Lenin's report on the 9th May, 1912, with regard to party tactics at a session of the 
Paris section of the Foreign Organ of the Kussian Social Democratic Labour Party. Lenin leaves Paris for Austria. The 
conference of the Mensheviks and the National Socialists at Vienna in August 1912. 

The so-called " General Party Conference," sometimes referred to as the " Lenin " Conference, 
sat in Prague from the 19th January, 1912 until the 30th January. In all there were twenty-three 
sessions, two a day. In all eighteen members of the party attended the conference, fourteen 
delegated by Party Organisations within the Empire, and four representing the leaders of the party 
abroad. All the delegates, with the exception of two Mensheviks, were representatives of the Bolshevik 
section and ardent supporters of Lenin. The Poles, the Letts and the members of the " Bund ' 
declined to attend the conference. The Mensheviks, led by Plekhanov, had no desire to do so 
as they felt that every effort had been made to close the conference to all except Bolshevik members 
of the party. The group of the " Vperedovtsy, " or the " Forwards," who stood on the extreme left, 
had broken up and were not represented at the conference. The " Golosovtsy," who were strongly 
of opinion that the activities of the party should be confined within the limits of legality, were also 
not invited. 

The leaders of the party abroad were represented by Lenin, Kamenev, Rykov and the Lithuanian, 
Tarshis. The following were representatives of the party organisations within the Empire: — 

Andrei Sergeich Romanov, known as " Georgy," at that time between 25 and 27 years of age, 
a Russian by nationality, a cobbler by profession, and an agent of the Russian Secret Service. 

Alexander Ivanovich Dogalov, at that time about 24 years of age, a workman of no definite 
profession, who had already served a term of exile at Solvychegodsk, in the Vologda Province. As a 
delegate from Baku, he had attended lectures at the school of party propagandists at Lonjumeaux. 
He had at first lived at Kazan, and later went to Baku. He had returned to Kazan about three 
months before he left Russia to attend the Prague Conference. 

Suren Spandarian, otherwise known as " Timofei," at that time about 29 years old, an Armenian 
of some education and ardent Leninite views, formerly a student of Moscow University, was a 
representative of the Party Organisations in Baku, where he had worked with great energy among 
the secret group during 1908 and 1909. He possessed an extensive typographical works for printing 
party literature. He had been a member of the " Russian Organising Commission " which had been 
entrusted with the election of delegates to the conference. 

Grigory Konstantinovich Orzhonikidze, a Georgian from Tifiis known under the name of " Sergo," 
of some education, a student at the propagandist school at Lonjumeaux, represented Tiflis at 
the conference. He too, will be remembered, had been a member of the "Russian Organising 
Commission," and had visited Riga in connection with the election of delegates for the conference. 

M. I. Gurovich, known as " Matvei," a boy in his teens, of Jewish origin, apprenticed to a 
hatter, represented Vilna. He had already been in prison at Grodno, and managed to fly abroad, 
and had mixed with the pupils of the propagandist school at Lonjumeaux, although he had not 
attended it. 


Leonid Petrovich Serebryakov,* a workman of about 25 years of age at the time, a Eussian, a 
metal worker by profession, represented the Party Organisations at Nikolaev. He was known under 
the name of "Erema." He had lived for some time in Tula, and had been exiled later to 
Solvychegodsk, in the Vologda Province. In 1911 he proceeded abroad and became a pupil at the 
propagandist school at Lonjumeaux. (Note. — He is now, 1920, a member of the Moscow Soviet and 
of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and has recently been active as secretary of the 
Chief Labour Committee.) 

A. K. Voronsky, known as " Valentin," represented Saratov. He was a man of conciliatory 
tendency in the party, a Bolshevik who desires union with the Mensheviks. He was about 27 years 
old at this time, a Jew, occupying himself with journalism. He had been exiled on one occasion 
to the Vologda Province. 

One, known as " Savva," whose real name has not been identified represented Ekaterinoslav, 
as a Menshevik. He was 23 years old, of the working class and had been a pupil at the propagandist 
school at Lonjumeux. He had already a reputation as a skilful writer, and was an ardent supporter 
of Plekhanov, with whom he used to keep up a rgular correspondence. 

Roman Vatslavovich Malinovsky,t a workman from a locomotive factory, at that time about 
33 years of age. A pure Eussian, well acquainted with the trade union movement. He declared at 
the conference that he represented the Secret Party Organisations in Moscow. At these organisations 
were already represented by two persons at the conference, it was suggested that he should represent 
the trade unions. (Note. — Shortly after this, he was elected as a Social Democratic member of 
the Fourth Duma, with the help of the Eussian secret service, whose agent he was at the conference.) 
Grigory Zinoviev, otherwise known as " Eadomyslsky," was invited to the conference by 
Golosh chekin " Philip," it being suggested that he should attend as a second delegate of the secret 
organisation of the party in Moscow. (Note. — He had not been in Eussia for some years and there- 
fore can have had no personal contact with the secret organisations, whose representation he assumed. 
He is now president of the Petrograd Soviet and of the Executive Committee of the Third 

Victor Alexeievich Orlynsky, known also as " David Meerovich," ' Shvartsman," and as 

' Victor " represented the Mensheviks. He was a Jew and somewhat under 30 years of age, well 

acquainted with the trade union movement. He was delegated to the conference by the Kiev 

Organisations, and was the only representative at the conference, whose credentials can be said to 

have been of an unimpeachable character. 

Boris Ivanovich Goloshchekin, known as "Philip," as has been shown above, had taken upon 
himself the representation of the Moscow secret organisations of the party. He had formerly been 
a member of the Moscow Committee of the Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party. 

Peter Anisim, otherwise known as " Pavlovsky-Zalutsky, " and ' Foma, " is a Eussian by 
nationality, a metal worker by trade and represented the Petrograd Committee at the conference. 

P. Onufriev, also known as " Stepan, " about 27 years old, from the Smolensk Province, a 
metal worker in the Obukhov factory, near Petrograd, was the second representative of the Petrograd 
organisations at the conference. He is said to have been closely connected with Lenin and made 
special reports to the conference with regard to conditions in the Petrograd factories. 

The conference opened with a report of Orzhonikidze on the result of the work of the " Eussian 
Organising Commission " in preparing the elections for the conference. He drew attention to the 
eagerness with which the delegates of the commission had been received by the members of the 
local organisation. He stated the complete absence of intellectual leadership among the local 
organisation. He informed the conference that the Caucasus District Committee and all the " Bund "' 
organisations were in the hands of "liquidators," who desired to abandon all illegal work, and to 
dissolve conspirative associations. He further stated that efforts had been made in the district 
round the Vistula to establish legal organisations without success. There existed in this area only 
separated groups, embodying a fairly numerous membership, under the influence of Tishko (alias 
Jogikhes, murdered in prison in Berlin at the time of the assassination of Eosa Luxemburg, his 
life-long associate in revolutionary activity among the Poles — Translator's note), who was opposed to 
the present conference. He alluded to the strong Democratic organisation, which had been observed 
by Spandarian, in the course of his visit to the Baltic provinces. This movement seemed to rest 
upon the support of the peasants. A unanimous decision to participate in the conference had been 
taken at a general meeting of the party in Eiga, at which one of the members of the Central Committee 
of the Lettish Social Democratic Party had been present. This decision was, however, overruled 
by the Lettish Central Committee subsequently, on the ground that the proposed conference would 
not be a general party conference, but a private conference of the Bolshevik faction, inasmuch as 
it had not been summoned by the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee — the Central Executive 
Organ of the party. The Central Committee of the Lettish Social Democratic Party considered 
that this conference had been called for the puropse of registering the personal policy of Lenin as the 
general policy of the party and could only have as its result the disorganisation of the work of the 
parties at home. Orzhonikidze went on to say that in the majority of the Provinces within the 
Empire the members of the " Eussian Organising Commission " had been unable to get into touch 
with the secret organisations, in view of the fact that these had fallen into general disorganisation. 
They had, therefore, been compelled to confine their efforts to individual party workers. "With a 
view to avoiding any future criticism, they had invited all the National Organisations as well as 

* Serebryakov was Secretary of the Central Labour Committee appointed in Soviet Eussia 
during 1920, and also a member of the 7th All-Eussian Central Executive Committee. 
According to recent information he has joined Trotsky's Trade Union group which advocates 
conscription and militarisation of labour. 

t Malinovsky fought in the Eussian army during the war and was taken prisoner by the 
Germans. After the outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, he contrived to make his way 
back to Eussia, and gave himself up to the Bolshevik authorities. He was tried and shot for 
treachery to the party in acting as a spy of the Eussian secret police before the war. 


the Sectional Groups of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to send their representatives 
to the conference. The only exception made was in the case of the Menshevik " liquidators," who 
were purposely not invited in view of their refusal to take part in the secret activities of the party, 
lie finally drew attention to the difficult conditions in which the " "Russian Organising Commission 
had to work, in view of the exceptional activity of the police, which had resulted in the arrest of 
some of its prominent members. 

A resolution was passed thanking the " Russian Organising Commission " for the work which 
it had accomplished. The conference then proceeded to pass a unanimous resolution constituting 
itself a general party conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, and as the supreme 
organ in the party at that moment. The resolution was carried in view of the following 
circumstances : — 

1. The dissolution of the Party Organisations within the Empire owing to the absence of a 

controlling centre and to the repressive measures of the police. 

2. The interest shown in the labour movement in the re-establishment of the work of the Social 

Democratic Party, which called forth the immediate necessity for establishing a powerful 
central authority closely linked with the provincial organisations in Russia. 
d. The necessity for such an organ in view of the forthcoming electoral campaign for the 
Fourth Duma. 

It is not unworthy of attention that, in passing the above resolution, the conference took for 
granted the agreement of those party groups, which had only expressed their sympathy with the 
work of the conference, and whose representatives had been unable to attend for various reasons. 

There then followed a series of statements from representatives of the local organisations, 
supporting what Orzhonikidze had said regarding the disorganisation into which the party groups 
had fallen. Onufrief alone attempted to show that in Petrograd the work of the secret organisation 
was still established on a satisfactory basis. 

Lenin then proceeded to make an attempt to test the measure of revolutionary feeling existing 
among the delegates of the working masses present at the conference. He therefore proposed that, 
in view of the disorganisation referred to, it would be best to liquidate completely existing secret 
organisations, and concentrate all energy exclusively on work within the limits of legality, electing 
for the purpose a special Supreme Party Organ, which should delegate special representatives only 
for provincial work, to be undertaken strictly in accordance with the policy laid down by the Centre. 
A burst of protest greeted this proposal and the members of the conference categorically declared 
that they were prepared to continue their secret activity at all costs, notwithstanding the obstacles 
which they might meet and the sacrifices which might be imposed upon them. In connection with 
the resolution which was passed regarding the preservation of secret organisations, it was decided to 
make extensive use of the Workers' Institutions legitimately established, and to form among them 
secret organisations as a basis for the further strengthening of the secret groups, and also to form, 
as far as might be possible, in accordance with local conditions, organisations on a territorial basis, 
together with groups formed according to particular industries and special forms of employment. 

The resolutions of the conference of 1908, regarding the urgent necessity of cultural work among 
the masses, the immediate participation of the secret groups in the growing economic struggle, and 
in the strike movement and for the purpose of promoting the class consciousness beginning to develop 
among Proletarian masses were approved. 

The conference then proceeded to discuss the attitude which it should assume towards the 
National Party Organisations which had refused to attend the conference although three times 
invited to do so. A letter was read from the Poles, in which the history of the dissolution of the 
Central Committee," and of the " Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee,'' was described and 
attributed to the Bolshevik section, and, chiefly, to Rykov. They declined to regard the conference 
as a general conference of the party, not only in view of the fact that the National Party Organisations 
were not represented at it, but also in view of the fact that the " Russian Organising Commission," 
consisting exclusively of Leninites, had made arrangements for summoning a conference, although 
they had no right to take upon themselves the representation of the party. In conclusion the 
Poles proposed to elect two of those assembled at Prague, and to charge them with proposing to 
the National Party Organisations, the Mensheviks' delegates of the " Foreign Bureau of the Central 
Committee " (dissolved by Lenin) that they should co-operate for the purpose of convening a real 
general party conference, in which they, the Poles, would be prepared to participate. The Letts 
sent a letter of similar purport. The Bund wrote stating that they would only consent to take part 
in the conference providing that all shades of opinion, including the " liquidators " were represented. 
The " Vperedovtsy " wrote refusing to recognise the conference, and Plekhanov, who was at San 
Remo, informed them that he was not convinced that all shades of the Social Democratic Labour 
Party were in agreement with the representatives assembled at Prague, and he, therefore, did not 
consider that it would be right for him to attend the conference. Maxim Gorky sent a letter 
regretting that the lack of means prevented him from accepting the invitation to attend the 
conference, and that he could not participate in editing a cheap Social Democratic journal, as had 
been proposed, in view of his conviction that the publication of a purely Marxist paper corresponded 
more nearly, in his opinion, with the exigencies of the moment. 

Lenin had long desired to settle his accounts with Trotsky, who had opposed him earlier bv 
proposing to call a general conference in which all party tendencies would be represented. Further 
more, Trotsky had made speeches in a Menshevik club in "Vienna and had suggested the convening 
of a conference over the heads of the " leaders " of the party in Paris. At the Prague Conference, 
Lenin was successful in convincing the assembly of the uselessness of devoting funds to a journal 
which, like the "Pravda," was run parallel with the " Rabochaya Gazeta," p.nd urged, moreover, 
that the " Pravda " had shown itself to be a supporter of the liquidating tendencies of the Menshevik 
Golosovtsy. The conference, therefore, decided to deprive the " Pravda " of the subsidy which they 
had been giving to it and to regard the " Rabochaya Gazeta " as the official journal of the party. 


With regard to the forthcoming elections to the Duma, Zinoviev read a paper emphasising the 
necessity of pursuing a concrete and properly co-ordinated policy, with a view to securing the election 
to the Duma of the candidates nominated by the party. This report was greeted with favour by 
the conference, but a resolution by the Menshevik, Savva, proposing that the party should form a 
block with otber revolutionary and opposition parties during the first phase of the election, was 
rejected, as having no practical significance, and as inevitably leading to concessions by the party 
in the event of the Social Democrats polling a minority of votes at the first ballots. It was, therefore, 
decided to adopt an entirely independent attitude during the first phase of the elections and alliance with 
parties not more right than the cadets was declared admissible only in the case of a re-election becoming 
necessary. In cases where there was no hope of electing a Social Democrat candidate from a given 
constituency, it was agreed that there was no objection to co-operation with other opposition 
parties, with a view to electing a Liberal candidate. The conference then proceeded to elect what 
was described as the Central Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party — Lenin, 
Zinoviev, Orzhonikidze, Spandarian, " Viktor " Malinovsky and Goldenberg. 

It was decided that Lenin and Zinoviev should remain permanently abroad and form a nucleus 
of the Central Committee, such as could not be broken up by the police. Orzhonikidze, Spandarian, 
' Viktor, ' ' Malinovsky and Goldenberg would reside in Russia and form the Russian Collegium of 
the Central Committee. 

As it was generally acknowledged that it would be impossible to keep the Collegium together in 
view of the activity of the secret police it was resolved that each of the members of the Central 
Committee should have the right of co-opting supplementary members on the committee so that 
its activities would not be interrupted by the arrest of any of its members. In view of the resolution, 
recognising the conference as a general conference of the party, it was decided to demand back 
from the trustees the sums of money which had previously been entrusted to them by the Bolshevik 
Centre. This decision strengthened the endeavours of Lenin to re-establish an independent Bolshevik 
section, as the surrender of the money by the trustees would place it under the complete control of 
the Central Committee, the most influential members of which were his supporters. 

Savva unexpectedly informed the conference four or five days after it had opened and after he had 
voted for all the resolutions proposed during that time, that he could not regard 'he conference as 
a general party conference, and refused to take upon himself responsibility for the character and 
results of its work. He declared, therefore, that he intended to continue to attend the meetings 
only as being the authorised delegate of the organisation which had appointed him, so that he might 
be in a position to make a report to it upon the proceedings of the conference. Having made his 
statement, Savva subsequently proceeded to ask leave to address the conference. Lenin, however, 
asked whether the conference proposed to allow this, and whether it recognised such declarations as 
Savva had made as being in order. The conference resolved that Savva would not be allowed the 
right of addressing it on any further subject, and declared the statement which he had made as 
out of order. Savva, who did not expect such a decision, broke down and wept at this point. This 
incident having been closed, Lenin, as president of the conference pronounced a concluding speech 
in the course of which he declared the unstrained measure of joy which he experienced in having 
lived to see the day when the workers, hitherto relying on the leadership of the Intellectuals, now 
showed themselves able to take into their own hands the conduct of party affairs, and had shown 
themselves able to appear independently at a conference like the present, and themselves to solve 
questions of the first magnitude. After this speech Lenin declared the conference closed. 

While the conference was still in session, the newly elected members of the Central Committee 
succeeded in holding two meetings with the following results: — 

1. Lenin, Zinoviev and Kamenev were instructed immediately to publish an address, in the name 

of the Central Committee, to the party organisations calling upon them to work in unison 
and infoming them of the conclusion of the conference, and of the results of its activities. 

2. Lenin, Zinoviev and Kamenev were appointed as the editorial staff of the Central Party Organ, 

the " Rabochaya Gazeta," with a salary of 200 fr. a month. 

3. Lenin was elected representative of the party on the International Socialist Bureau, and it 

was decided to ask Plekhanov also to become a representative. 

4. A travelling commission was formed of Orzhonikidze, Malinovsky and Goldenberg to proceed 

to Russia and direct the activities of those who had participated in the conference. 

The following were commissioned to present reports upon Party Organisations within the Empire 
from time to time. 

1. Spandarian; on the Caucasus and the Letts. 

2. Orzhonikidze and Prisiagin; on Petrograd. 

3. Goloshchekin ; on Moscow, on the Ural and on the Central Industrial District. 

4. Viktor; on Kiev, Ekaterinoslav and other places. 

5. Spandarian, Tarshis and Poletaev, a Duma deputy were appointed to conduct pourparlers 

with the trustees of the Bolshevik money. 

6. In connection with the right of co-optation, the following were elected additional members 

of the Central Committee : — 

(a.) Joseph Vissarionov Dzhugashvili, a Georgian. (Note. — Now People's Commissary 
for State Control and also for Nationalities under the Soviet Government), and 

(b.) "Vladimir," formerly a workman in the Putilov factory and a pupil of the 
propaganda school at Lonjumeaux (real name Belostatsky). 

In the event of members of the Central Committee being arrested,* S. A. 
Bubnov, A P. Smirnov, and Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin. 1 


S. A. Bubnov and A P. Smirnov were members of the AU-Russian Central Executive 
Committee in 1920, and the latter is a member of the Collegium of the People's Commissariat for 

t M. I. Kalinin, president of the newly-elected 8th Ail-Russian Central Executive 
Committee, 1921. 

[5631] T . 


7. Spandarian, Orzhonikidze and Dzhugashvili were elected members of the so-called Bureau 
of the Central Committee, at a salary of 50 roubles a month, and they were to be assisted 
by Goloshehekin as a travelling agent. 

Lenin was instructed to form a special committee for investigating charges brought by one 
member of the party against another, as in the case of Nogin, who had brought accusations against 
one of the members of the Central Committee, a representative of the Bund. 

In February 1912, a conference took place between Poletaev, a Social Democrat member of 
the Duma, and Lenin, Malinovsky and Spandarian regarding the activities of the Social Democrat 
members of the Duma. Simultaneously, conferences were taking place in Russia of representatives 
of the Bund, the Lettish Social Democrats and of the District Committee of the Caucasus Social 
Democrat Organisation, all expressing the Menshevik point of view, and the necessity of combining 
to re-establish the unity of the party, which they proposed to> further by calling a general party 
conference. They invited the members of the Leninite 'Russian Organising Commission" to 
attend the conference, but no reply was received. A representative of the Social Democratic Party 
of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania was invited and actually attended the conference, but soon 
left as a result of a disagreement on the question of supplementing the members of the " Organising 
Committee " with representatives of the Party Organisations in Russia. The practical result of the 
conference was a unanimous decision to summon a conference of all groups and shades of opinion, and 
a Provisional Bureau was established as an Organising Committee, and instructed as to summoning 
the conference. 

"While these meetings were taking place in Russia, the representatives of the Lettish Social 
Democratic Party and of the Social Democratic Party of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania left 
the Foreign Bureau of the Central Committee. As a result of this only representatives of the 
Mensheviks and the Bund remained as members of the Foreign Bureau. These, therefore, proceeded 
to constitute themselves as a so-called " Foreign Commission" and announced that they desired to 
make this " Foreign Commission " representative of all party groups and tendencies existing abroad. 
A meeting of protest took place in March at Paris of representatives of the Foreign Committee of 
the Bund, of the Plekhanovtsy, the " Forwards," the Bolshevik conciliators, of the editorial staffs 
of the ' Golos Social-Demokrata ' and "Pravda" with regard to the so-called 'All-Russian 
Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party " held by the Leninites at Prague in the 
preceding January. Other protests were received from Party Organisations in Russia and abroad. 
But it was clear that Lenin could not be overcome by words or resolutions. It was quite evident 
that there was only one means of uniting the party, and that was by acquiescence in the coup d'Etat 
which Lenin had accomplished. It was hopeless to think of any united effort on the part of the 
organisation opposed by Lenin. No practical co-operation could be expected between such widely 
divergent groups as the Menshevik "liquidators" on the one hand and the " Vperedovtsy " or 
' Forwards " on the other. Even Trotsky, working in the Centre, could not reconcile these 
fundamentally incompatible forces. 

Meanwhile, Lenin went on with the work which he had begun at the Prague Conference. In 
May 1912, he addressed a meeting of the Paris section of the Foreign Organising Committee which 
had been called into being at Prague. He dwelt upon the wave of labour unrest which was passing 
over Russia at that time, and emphasised its importance as coinciding with the electoral campaign 
for the Fourth Duma. The Conservatives were frightened. Menshikov, in the reactionary " Novoe 
Vremya," had attacked Witte for not hastening the passage of the workers' insurance legislation, 
which would exercise a tranquillising effect upon labour. Lenin pointed to past revolutionary 
experience as showing the value of an active representation of revolutionaries in a parhmentary 
body. It was, therefore, important that as many candidates of the party as possible should be 
elected at the forthcoming Duma. There it would be their task to hasten the course of events as 
far as they could by losing no opportunity of aggravating the difficulties of the Government, and of 
showing up the opportunism of the Liberal Parties, who were ever ready to betray the workers. 
If conditions at the elections were as favourable as at the elections to the Third Duma, it was possible 
that they might achieve some success. If, however, the police boycotted the party as was suggested 
by the recent arrest of Skvortsov (Note. — At present an official in the Publishing Department of the 
Soviet Government), it was difficult to say what the issue of the present election would be and 
whether they would succeed in securing the election of even one of their candidates. 

In August 1912 Lenin again left Paris for Prague, it is suggested with a view to being nearer 
the Russian frontier, which would enable him the more easily to receive information and supervise 
the despatch of party literature into Russia. He was anxious at this time to converse with one of 
the prominent party workers among the local organisations of the party, and it was hoped that one 
of them would succeed in crossing the frontier and of visiting him at Prague. His wife, who acted 
as his secretary, corresponded upon this matter with Andrei Sergeivich Romanov, formerly a pupil at 
Gorky's school at Capri. (Note. — The success of this correspondence was hardly likely to be promoted 
by the fact that Romanov was an agent of the Russian Secret Service.) 

In August 1912, the Mensheviks succeeded in holding at Vienna, under the presidency of 
Trotsky, a conference of members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party such as had 
been contemplated at the meetings which took place in Petrograd in the precsding January. The 
conference was a failure. It was impossible to persuade the Bolshevik 'Conciliators," the 
Plekhanovtsy, Social Democrats of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, not to speak of the 
Leninites, to attend. Grigory Alexeievich Alexinsky, representing the " Vperedovtsy," Martov, the 
leader of the Mensheviks, Abramovich and Goldman, representing the Bund, Mgeladze and Urotadze, 
members of the Caucasion organisation, and Peterson, Medem and Janson, members of the Lettish 
Social Democratic Party were there. (Note. — Martov and Abramovich are to-day in Berlin working 
for the Mensheviks ; Abramovich took a leading part in putting the town of Tula into a state of 
defence when Denikin's army was advancing. Mgeladze is now a member of the All-Russian 
Central Executive Committee.) Another member of the conference was Uritsky, who was for some 
time president of the Petrograd Soviet and was assassinated in 1918. 


It was quite impossible to reconcile the conflicting interests which asserted themselves at the 
conference As a result of the attack made by Martov and Abramovich, Alexmsky left the conference 
and Trotsky failed to carry a resolution declaring the conference to be a general conference of the 
party In view of the fact that the conference had been attended by some thirty delegates repre- 
senting areas such as Petrograd, Moscow, Odessa, Sevastopol Krasnoyarsk, Baku &c.,;its failure 
to achieve any measure of comprehensive agreement marked the final failure of the various efforts 
made by the Mensheviks to reunite the party. Tactlessness, on the one hand, and the fundamental 
differences on the other, were, above all, the causes of this failure. 

Appendix VII. 

Extract from Booklet entitled " The Revolutionary Movement in Russia. 

(By A. E. Spiridovitch.) 

Programme of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, as elaborated at the Conference of the 
Party in London in 1909, prior to Lenin's " coup d'Etat " described in Appendix VI. 

(Translation from Bussian.) 

The growth of exchange (intercourse) has established such a close tie between all nations of the 
civilised world that the great liberation movement of the proletariat was bound to become, and has 
already long ago become, an international one. 

Considering itself one of the detachments of the universal army of the proletariat, Bussian Social 
Democracy aims at the same final object, to which the social democrats of all other countries are 

This final aim is determined by the characteristics of contemporary middle-class society and by 
the progress of its development. 

The main feature of such a society is the production of goods on the basis of capitalistic 
industrial relations, under which the most important and considerable portion of the means of 
production and circulation of the goods belongs to a numerically small class of people, while the 
enormous majority of the population consists of proletarians and semi-proletarians, forced by thi-ir 
economic position to sell their labour permanently or periodically, that is to say, to join, as hired 
men, the service of the capitalists and to create by their labour the revenues of the upper classes of 

The sphere of the rule of capitalistic industrial relations is widening out more and more, as and 
when the continuous improvements in technological engineering, increasing the economic value of the 
huge enterprises, leads to the elimination of the small independent producers, turning a part of them 
into proletarians, limiting the scope of the remainder in the communal-economic life, and here and 
there placing them into more or less complete, more or less obvious, more or less onerous dependence 
on capital. 

The same technical progress enables the exploiter to utilise at an always increasing rate the 
labour of women and children in the process of production and handling of goods. And as, on the 
other part, it leads to a relative reduction in the human labour requirements of the exploiters, the 
demand for labour must necessarily fall short of the supply of the same, in consequence of which the 
dependence of labour on capital increases, and the level of its exploitation rises. 

And such a condition of affairs in bourgeois countries, with their mutual rivalry on the universal 
market steadily coming to a head, makes more and more difficult the sale of the goods, produced in 
steadily increasing quantity. Over-production, finding expression in more or less acute crises, which 
are succeeded by more or less prolonged periods of industrial stagnation, represents the inevitable 
result of the development of the industrial forces in bourgeois society. Crises and periods of industrial 
stagnation in their turn ruin still more the small producers, increase still more the dependence of hired 
labour on capital, lead still more rapidly to a relative, and occasionally also to an absolute, set-back in 
the position of the working class. 

In this manner, technical improvements, signifying an increase in the productive efficiency of 
labour and a growth of public wealth, mean, in middle-class society, an increase in public inequality, 
a widening of the division between the " haves " and the " have nots," and a growth of the insecurity 
of existence, unemployment and various deprivations to wider circles of the toiling masses. 

However, in proportion to the rate at which these contradictions, peculiar to middle-class 
society, grow and develop, there also grows the dissatisfaction of the toiling and exploited masses with 
the existing order of things, grows the number and cohesion of the proletarians, and grows the fierce- 
ness of their struggle against their exploiters. At the same time, technical improvements, concen- 
trating the means of production and circulation and generalising the process of labour in capitalistic 
enterprises, create more and more rapidly the material possibilities for a replacement of capitalistic 
industrial relationships by socialistic ones, that is to say, by that social revolution which represents 
the final aim of the entire activity of international social democracy, as the conscious exponent of the 
class movement. 

Beplacing private ownership of the means of production and circulation by public ownership and 
introducing a co-ordinated organisation of the public industrial process for securing the welfare and 
all-round development of all members of society, the social revolution of the proletariat will abolish 
the division of society into classes and will thereby liberate all oppressed humanity, as it will put a 
stop to all kinds of exploitation of one section of society by another. 

[5631] T 2 


An indispensable condition of this social revolution is the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the 
conquest by the proletariat of such political power as would enable it to suppress any resistance on the 
part of ilk- exploiters. 

Setting up as its aim the making of the proletariat fit to carry out its great historical mission, 
international social democracy is welding it into an independent political party, opposed to all 
bourgeois parties, directing all the manifestations of its class struggle, revealing to it the irreconcilable 
contrast between the interests of the exploiters and those of the exploited, and explaining to it the 
historical importance of, and the conditions necessary to, the impending social revolution. At the 
same time, it discloses to all the toiling and exploited masses the hopelessness of their position in 
eapitalistic society and the need of the social revolution in the interests of their own liberation from 
the yoke of capital. The party of the working class — social democracy — invites into its ranks all 
sections of the toiling and exploited population provided they accept the views of the proletariat. 

On the way towards their common final goal, which is dependent on the domination of the 
eapitalistic method of production in the whole of the civilised world, the social democrats of the 
different countries are compelled to adopt different objects for immediate attention, and that because 
this method is not everywhere developed in an equal degree, and also because its development in the 
different countries proceeds in different social and political surroundings. 

In Russia, where capitalism has already become the dominating method of production, there still 
survive a good many odds and ends of our old capitalistic order, which was based on the binding of 
the toiling masses to the landlords, to the State or to the head of the State. Interfering most 
seriously with economic progress, these survivals prevent the all-round development of the class 
struggle of the proletariat, assist in the maintenance and strengthening of the most barbaric forms of 
exploitation of the peasantry of many millions by the State and possessing classes and keep the whole 
nation in darkness and without rights. 

The most important of all these survivals and the most powerful bulwark of all this barbarity is 
the Tsarist autocracy. It is' by its very nature hostile to any public movement, and cannot but be 
the most embittered enemy of all emancipatory aspirations of the proletariat. 

Therefore the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party adopts as its most immediate political 
aim the overthrow of the Tsarist autocracy and its replacement by a democratic republic, the 
constitution of which would secure : — 

1. The sovereignty of the people, that is to say, centralisation of all supreme State power in the 

hands of a legislative assembly, consisting of the representatives of the people and forming 
one chamber. 

2. Universal, equal and direct electoral rights at elections to the legislative assembly, as well as 

to all local organs of self-government, for all citizens of either sex who have reached the 
age of 20 ; secret ballot at elections ; the right to every elector to be elected to all 
representative bodies; Parliaments of two years' duration; salaries to the people's 

3. Wide local self-government; territorial self-government for those localities which are 

distinguished by peculiar conditions of life and the composition of the population. 

4. Inviolability of the subject and home. 

5. Unrestricted liberty of conscience and freedom of speech, press, meetings, strikes and unions. 

6. Freedom of movement and trades. 

7. Abolition of class distinctions and full equality of all citizens, irrespective of sex, religion, 

• race and nationality. 

8. Right of the people to receive instruction in the native tongue, provided for by the establish- 

ment, at the expense of the State and self-government bodies, of the schools required 
therefor ; the right of every citizen to express himself in the native tongue at the 
assemblies ; the introduction of the native tongue on an equal footing with the State 
language in all local, public and State establishments. 

9. The right to self-determination for all nations entering into the composition of the State. 

10. The right of every person to prosecute any State official in a court of jurymen. 

11. The appointment of the judges by the people. 

12. Replacement of the standing army by the universal arming of the people. 

13. Separation of the Church from the State and of the school from the Church. 

14. Free and obligatory general and professional education for all children of either sex up to the 

age of 16 years; the supply of poor children with food, clothing and school requisites at the 
expense of the State. 

As a fundamental condition of the democratisation of our State economics, the Russian Social 
Democratic Labour Party demands the abrogation of all indirect taxes and the institution of a 
progressive tax on incomes and inheritances. 

In the interests of the protection of the working class against physical and moral degeneration, 
and also in the interests of the development of its capacity for the emancipatory struggle, the party 
demands : — 

1 . The limitation of the working day to eight hours per twenty-four hours for all hired labour. 

2. The fixing of a w r eekly period of rest, continuing without a break over not less than forty-two 

hours, for hired labour of either sex in all branches of national economics. 

3. The complete prohibition of overtime work. 

4. The prohibition of night work (from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in all branches of national economics, 

except in those in which it is absolutely necessary for technical considerations approved of 
by the labour organisations. 

5. That employers be prohibited from making use of the labour of children of school age (up to 

16 years); and the limitation of the working time of adults (16-18 years) to six hours. 

6. The prohibition of female labour in those trades in which it is injurious to the female organism ; 

the release of women from work for a period of from four to six weeks after childbirth, the 
payment of wages at the usual rate to continue all this time. 


7. The provision of creches for nurslings and children of tender age at all works, factories and 

other establishments at which women are employed ; women with nurslings to be released 
from work not less frequently than every three hours for a period of not less than half an 
hour at a time. 

8. The State insurance of workers against old age and complete or partial loss of working capacity 

at the expense of a special fund, created by means of a special tax on the capitalists. 

9. Prohibition of the payment of wages in goods; the fixing of a weekly day of settlement in cash 

in all contracts, without exception, relating to the engagement of workmen and payment 
of their earnings to be made to them in working hours. 

10. That employers be prohibited from making deductions from wages, irrespective of the grounds 

on or objects for which they may be made (fines, rejections, &c). 

11. The appointment of an adequate number of factory inspectors in all branches of national 

economics and the extension of supervision by the factory inspector to all enterprises 
employing hired labour, Government establishments included (the work of domestic 
servants also to come within the sphere of this supervision); the appointment of women 
inspectors in those trades in which female labour is employed; participation of State-paid 
representatives, elected by the workmen, in the supervision over the execution of the 
factory laws, and also over the drawing up of the rates of pay, the acceptance and rejection 
of materials and results of the work. 

12. Supervision by the organs of local self-government, assisted by delegates of the workers, over 

the sanitary condition of the living accommodation allocated to the workers by the 
employers, as well as over the internal arrangement of such quarters and over the 
conditions of their letting, in order to protect the hired men against interference on the 
part of the employers into their life and activities as private persons and citizens. 

13. The establishment of properly organised sanitary supervision in all enterprises employing hired 

labour, subject to the whole medical and sanitary organisation being completely indepen- 
dent of the employers; free medical assistance to the workmen at the expense of the 
employers and continuation of maintenance during illness. 

14. The establishment of criminal liability on the part of employers for infractions of the labour 

protection laws. 

15. The establishment in all branches of national economics of industrial courts, composed in 

equal numbers of representatives of the workmen and of the employers. 

16. Charging the local self-government bodies with the duty of establishing offices of mediation 

in connection with the hire of local and incoming labour (labour exchanges) in all branches 
of industry, subject to participation of representatives of labour organisations in their 

In order to eliminate the vestiges of serfdom, which impose a direct heavy burden on the 
peasants, and in the interests of the unfettered development of the class struggle in the village, the 
Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party demands: — 

1. Abrogation of all class restrictions with reference to the person and property of peasants. 

2. Abolition of all payments and dues connected with the class individualism of the peasants and 

the annulment of engagements of an onerous description. 

3. Confiscation of church, monastery, appanage and State lands and the handing over of these 

and also of fiscal lands to the main local government bodies which unify the urban and 
rural districts, subject to lands required on behalf of the emigration fund and also forests 
and waters, which are of general State importance, being transferred to the democratic 

4. The confiscation of privately-owned lands, excepting small holdings, the same to be placed at 

the disposal of the main local government bodies, elected on democratic principles, the 
minimum area of plots of land subject to confiscation to be fixed by the main self- 
government bodies. 

While supporting the revolutionary acts of the peasantry up to the confiscation of the estates of 
landowners, the Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party will always and unalterably oppose all 
attempts to retard the course of economic development. Striving, in the event of the victorious 
development of the revolution, to hand over the confiscated lands into the possession of the democratic 
establishments of the local organs of self-government, the Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party, 
in the event of conditions being unfavourable to such a course, will express itself in favour of a division 
between the peasants of such landowners' lands on which farming on a small scale is actually being 
carried on or which comprise additions indispensable to the rounding off of the same. In connection 
therewith the object of the party, on all occasions and in any state of the democratic agrarian changes, 
will be to strive without deviation for the independent class organisation of the rural proletariat, to 
explain to it the irreconcilability of its interests with those of the rural middle-class, to caution it 
against seduction by the allurements of the system of small holding farming, which, in the presence 
of industrialism, will never succeed in doing away with the poverty of the masses, and, finally, to 
point out the need of a complete socialistic change, as being, the sole means for abolishing all poverty 
and all exploitation. 

While striving to secure its immediate objects, the Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party 
supports all opposition and revolutionary movements directed against the general political order 
existing in Eussia, at the same time positively rejecting all those schemes of reform which are 
connected with any extension or simplification of the police and bureaucratic tutelage over the toiling 

On its part, the Eussian Social Democratic Labour Party is firmly convinced that the full, 
consecutive and permanent realisation of the above political and social changes is only attainable by 
way of the downthrow of autocracy and convocation of a constituent assembly, freely elected by the 
whole nation. 


Supplement 3 (Chapter IX). 

Statute of Organisation* of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party adopted at the London 


1. As a member of the party is considered everyone who accepts the programme of the party, 
financially supports the party and joins any organisation of the party. 

2. All organisations of the party are based on the principles of democratic centralisation. 

3. All organisations of the party are autonomous as regards their internal activities. Every 
approved organisation of the party is free to publish in its own name the literature of the party. 

4. New organisations of the party are approved by the territorial conferences or by two of the 
nearest organisations. Control of ratification is vested in the Central Committee. Information on all 
newly approved organisations is published, ill due course, by the Central Committee in the party 

5. The organisations of one region may combine in territorial associations. The territorial centre 
is elected at the territorial conferences or meetings. 

6. All organisations of the party must support the Central Committee financially at the rate of 
10 per cent, of all receipts. 

7. The Central Committee is elected at a meeting. The Central Committee represents the party 
in negotiations with other parties, organises the various establishments of the party and directs their 
operations, appoints the editorial staff of the Central Organisation, which operates under its control, 
organises and conducts the enterprises of general party interests, allocates the forces and funds of the 
party, and has charge of the central cash department of the party, settles disputes between different 
establishments of the party and also within these, and, generally, unifies all the work of the party. 
In the case of the retirement of members of the Central Committee, its complement is made up from 
amongst the delegates elected by the meeting in the order fixed by the meeting. 

8. For the discussion of more important questions in the life of the party, the Central Committee 
convokes periodically, but not less than once in every three to four months, conferences of repre- 
sentatives of the territorial associations of the individual organisations of the Bund, S.D.P. and 
L. & S.D.L.K.,t in proportion to the numbers of the organised workers taking part in the elections to 
the last party meeting, on the basis of one delegate in every 5,000. All organisations not combined in 
territorial associations elect delegates at their conferences on the same lines. The resolutions of the 
conferences become operative only in case of their ratification by the Central Committee. 

9. The meeting acts as the supreme authority of the party. The ordinary meetings are called 
together by the Central Committee annually. At the request of not less than half the number of all 
the members of the party an extraordinary meeting must be called within two months. 

In the event of the Central Committee refusing, under these conditions, to call a meeting, the 
moiety of the party which demanded its convocation is entitled to constitute an Organisation 
Committee, the same enjoying all the rights of the Central Committee with reference to the 
convocation of a meeting. 

The organisations which have been approved three months prior to the date of the convocation of 
the meeting have the right to be represented at the meeting at the rate of one delegate for every half 
of 1,000 members taking part in the election of the delegates. 

Organisations not possessing the adequate number of members may unite with neighbouring 
organisations for the purpose of sending a joint delegate, provided they have together not less than 
1,000 electors. The election of delegates to a meeting is conducted on democratic lines. 

,A meeting is considered as being duly constituted if more than half of all the members of the 
party be represented at it. 

The convocation of every meeting and the agenda are notified by the Central Committee, or, in 
the respective instances, by the Organisation Committee, not less than one and a half months prior to 
the meeting. 

Appendix VTII. 

" Terrorism and Communism.' 
(By L. Trotsky.) 

Chapter VIII. — " Questions Regarding the Organisation of Labour. 

The Soviet Government and Industry. 
(Translation from Bussian.) 

"If during the period of the Soviet revolution the principal criticisms of the bourgeois world 
were directed against our brutalitv and blood-thirstiness, then later, when this argument had become 
somewhat worn from constant use, and had lost its force, they began to hold us as chiefly responsible 
for the economic disorganisation of the country. In accordance with the purpose of his present 
mission, Kautskv methodicallv reduces to pseudo-Marxist language all the bourgeois allegations as 

*See London Conference of the Bussian Social Democratic Labour Party. Full Text of 
Proceedings. Published by the Central Committee, 1909. 
t The Labour and Social Democracy of Latvia. 


to the Soviet Government having destroyed the industrial life of Eussia : the Bolsheviks proceeded 
to the socialisation of industry without plan, they socialised what was as yet unripe for socialisation ; 
finally, the Kussian working-class were, in general, unprepared to assume the administration of 
industry, &c. 

Repeating and combining these accusations, Kautsky passes over with dull obstinacy the 
fundamental reasons of our economic disorganisation : the imperialist slaughter, the civil war and 
the blockade. 

Soviet Eussia, from the first months of her existence, has been deprived of coal, naphtha, 
metal and cotton. At first Austro-German and later Entente Imperialism, with tbe co-operation of 
Eussian White Guards, cut off from Soviet Eussia the coal and metalliferous regions, the 
Caucasus naphtha district, Turkestan with its cotton, the Ural with its rich resources in metal, Siberia 
with its supplies of corn and meat. The Donetz Basin usually supplied our industry with 94 per cent. 
of its coal, and 74 per cent, of its heavy metal. The Ural yielded another 24 per cent, of metal and 
4 per cent, of coal. We lost both these areas in the course of the civil war. We found ourselves 
deprived of half-a-milliard poods of coal, which was formerly imported from abroad. We were 
simultaneously deprived of naphtha oil: the whole industry passed into the hands of our foes. One 
must really possess leaden wits if, in face of these facts, one talks about the destructive influence 
of " untimely," " barbarous," &c, socialisation of an industry, which has been completely deprived 
of fuel and raw material. Whether a factory belongs to a Capitalist Trust or to a Workers' State, 
whether or not it is socialised, its chimneys none the less will not smoke without coal or oil. It 
might be possible to learn something about this in Austria and besides in Germany herself. The 
textile factory, administered on the very best lines by Kautsky, if one allows that it would be possible 
to administrate anything on the lines of Kautsky, besides one's own ink-pot — will not give clothing if 
it is not supplied with cotton. We have also been deprived both of Turkestan and American fibre at 
the same time. Besides this, as has been said, we had no fuel. 

Of course, the blockade and the civil war were the results of the proletarian revolution in Eussia. 
But it does not follow from this, that the gigantic devastation, caused by the Anglo-American blockade 
and the predatory campaigns of Kolchak and Denikin, should be credited to the account of the 
worthlessness of Soviet economic methods. 

The imperialist war which preceded the revolution with its enormous demands in material and 
technical appliances — laid upon our young industry a far greater burden than was laid upon the 
industry of the more powerful Capitalist States. Our transport suffered exceptionally severely. The 
exploitation of the railways was carried on with greatly increased intensity, the necessity for repairs 
grew proportionately, while the actual accomplishment of repairs was reduced to a strict minimum. 
The inevitable hour of reckoning drew near with the fuel crisis. The almost simvdtaneous loss of the 
Donetz and foreign coal and of Caucasus oil necessitated the adaptation cf transport to wood-fuel. 
And as the available supplies of wood were not calculated to meet this demand, locomotives had to 
be fired with fresh-cut damp wood, which exerted an extremely destructive effect on the already 
dilapidated machinery of locomotives. We see, therefore, that the chief causes for the disorganisation 
of transport preceded in their operation, the revolution of November 1917. But even those causes 
which are directly or indirectly associated with the November revolution, are to be attributed to the 
political consequences of the revolution, and in no way to socialist methods of economic administra- 
tion. The influence of the political upheavals was not, of course, confined to questions of transport 
and fuel. If world industry has shown a tendency during the last decade to become transformed in 
one unified organism, then so much the more intensely does this process of unification apply to 
national industry. Meanwhile, the war and the revolution automatically dismembered Eussian 
industry in all directions. The destruction of industry in Poland, the Baltic Provinces, and arter 
that in Petrograd began under Tsarism, and continued under Kerensky, spreading more and more 
into new areas. Endless evacuations accompanied simultaneously with the destruction of industry, 
occasioned the destruction of transport. Evacuations, during the civil war, with its moving fronts, 
assumed an increasingly feverish development and consequently a more and more destructive 
character. Each side, temporarily or permanently evacuating one industrial area or another, took 
all possible measures to render factories useless to the enemy : the most valuable machinery was 
removed, or, at any rate, the most vital parts, together with the technical staff and other workmen. 
After an evacuation would follow a re-evacuation, which often completed the destruction both of 
moveable equipment and the railways. Certain important industrial areas — especially in the Ukraine 
and the Ural — were transferred from one side to the other more than once. 

To this it is necessary to add that at the time when the destruction of technical equipment was 
going on and assuming unparalleled proportions, the import of machinery from abroad, which used to 
play such a decisive role in our industrial life, completely ceased. 

But not only the material elements of production, buildings, machinery, fuel and raw material, 
suffered a terrible falling-off under the united blows of war and the revolution, but the principal 
factor in industry — its human, creative force, the proletariat — suffered no less, if not more. It 
carried out the November revolution, it built-up and defended the organisation of the Soviet Govern- 
ment and conducted an uninterrupted struggle with the White Guards. Skilled workers are, at the 
same time, as a general rule, in the front rank politically. The civil war for a long time tore aw 7 av 
from productive effort many thousands of the best workmen, and swallowed up many thousands of 
them without possibility of their return. 

Eor the two-and-a-half years of its existence the whole attention of the Soviet Government has 
been directed to military defence : the best strength and the principal resources have been given 
to the front. 

The class-struggle in general deals blows at industry. All the philosophers who preach social harmony 
up to Kautsky have long accused it on that score. During simple economic strikes the workers 
consume, but do not produce. So much the heavier then are the blows which the class-struggle in 
its bitterest form deals at economic organisation — the form of armed struggles. But it is clear that 
you cannot connect the civil war with socialist economic methods. 

The reasons enumerated above do more than explain the grievous economic position of Soviet 
Eussia. There is no fuel, no metal, no cotton, transport is disorganised, technical equipment is 


disorganised, labour is dispersed about the face of the country with a high percentage of it lost 
on the fronts — is it necessary to search for additional reasons — for example in the economic Utopianism 
of the Bolsheviks — to explain the decline of our industry'.' On the contrary, each one of the 
above-enumerated reasons is in itself sufficient to raise the question : how under such conditions 
has it been possible to maintain the activity of the factories at all? 

They do exist, however, principally in the form of war industry, which is now carried on at the 
expense of all other forms of industry. The Soviet Government has been compelled to recreate it, 
like the army, out of shattered remnants. Military industry, re-established, under these serious 
conditions, Has and is Fulfilling the tasks which arc being imposed upon it; the Red army is clothed, 
shod, armed with rifles, machine guns and artillery, cartridges, shells, aeroplanes and all that it 

As soon as a glimmer of peace showed itself — after the destruction of Kolchak, Yudenich and 
Denikin — we began to meet the question of organising the economic life of the country. Already 
in the course of three or four months of intensive effort in this department it is clear beyond all 
doubt that, thanks to our most intimate ties with the popular masses, the elasticity of our State 
organisation and our revolutionary initiative, the Soviet Government has at its disposal such resources 
and methods for the regeneration of the country as no other State ever enjoyed. 

It is true that quite new questions and new difficulties have risen up before us in the sphere 
of organising labour. Socialist theory has not had answers ready for these questions and could not 
be expected to have had. Solutions have to be sought by experience and to be tested by it. 
" Kautskianstvo " lies a whole epoch behind the gigantic economic problems which the Soviet 
Government is having to decide. In the leanness of Menshevism, it stumbles along, opposing to 
the practical measures of our economic construction petty bourgeois prejudice and the bureaucratic 
scepticism of the intellectuals. 

[In order to introduce the reader into the very essence of those questions connected with the 
organisation of labour, as 'they present themselves before us now, we attach below a report made 
by the author of this book at the Third All-Eussian Congress of Trade Unions. (April 1920, translator's 
note.) With the object of more fully illuminating the question, the text of the speech is supplemented 
with important extracts from the author's reports before the All-Eussian Congress of Soviets of 
People's Economy and at the Ninth Congress of the Communist Party.] 

Report on the Organisation of Labour. 

Comrades ! Internal civil war is at an end. On the Western front the position is as yet 
undecided. It is possible that the Polish bourgeoisie is challenging its own fate — but even in this 
case — wo do not seek it] — 'the war will not call for that enormous intensity of effort from us, which 
simultaneous fighting on four fronts called for. The terrible pressure of war is beginning to relax. 
Economic demands and problems push themselves to the front the more readily. History leads us 
straight to our fundamental problem — the organisation of labour on social principles. The organisation 
of labour is in essence the organisation of a new society : every historical society is fundamentally 
an organisation of labour. If every society in the past has been an organisation of labour in the 
interests of the minority, whereby this minority organised its own State eompiilsion over the vast 
majority of the workers, then we are making the first attempt in the world's h'story to organise 
labour in the interests of the working majority itself. This, however, does not exclude the element 
of compulsion in all its forms, in its most mild and harshest forms. The elementary obligation of 
State compulsion not only does not pass from the scene of history, but, on the contrary, will continue 
to play an extraordinarily great role for a considerable -period of time. 

As a general rule, a man strives to avoid labour. Industry is not at all innate in man : it is 
created by economic pressure and social education. It may be said that man is a fairly idle animal. 
On this quality in him, human progress is in reality based to a considerable degree, because if a 
man did not endeavour to expend his energy as economically as possible, if he did not strive to secure 
the maximum productive result for the minimum expenditure of effort, there would have been no 
development of technical science and social culture. Therefore, from this point of view, the idleness 
of man is a progressive force. The old Italian Marxist, Antonio Labriola, even went so far as to 
describe the future of man " as a happy and genial idleness." There is no need, however, for us to 
draw i5he conclusion here, that the party and the trade unions should preach this quality as a moral 
duty in the course of their agitation. No! No! We have enough of it and to spare. The task of 
social organisation consists just in this — that " Idleness " should be introduced within definite limits, 
that it should be .disciplined, that it should spur man on by the help of means and measures, 
invented by himself. 

Labour Conscription. 

The key to economic organisation is labour — skilled, semi-skilled, raw or unskilled. To work out 
methods for its correct registration, mobilisation, distribution, productive application — means 
practically to solve the problem of economic construction. This is the problem for a whole epoch — 
a grandiose task. Its difficulty is increased by the necessity under which we labour of reconstructing 
labour on socialist principles under conditions of unparalleled shortage and terrible want. 

The more worn-out our machinery, the greater the disorganisation of our railway equipment, the 
less our hope of receiving any considerable quantity of machinery from abroad within a short time — 
so much the more importance attaches to the question of labour. It would seem we have plenty of it. 
But where lies the way towards its employment? How is it to be got at? How is it to be organised 
for manufacturing purposes? We have already met with great difficulties in the work of clearing 
the railway track from snow.* There is no possibility of solving the problem by way of acquiring 

* Heavy falls of snow are usually experienced in Russia during the months of January. February 
and March, and interfere with railway transport. Towards the end of January 1921, heavy snowstorms 
began to interfere with the movements of trains carrying food supplies to Central Russia. 


labour in the open market, having regard to the present negligible purchasing power of money, m 
circumstances of the almost complete absence of manufactured products. The demand for fuel cannot 
be satisfied, even in part, without a mass utilisation, as yet unparalleled, of labour for work in 
securing wood, peat and shale fuel. The civil war has severely impaired the permanent way of our 
railways, our bridges, station buildings. Tens and hundreds of thousands of workers' hands are 
needed in order to put all this in order. For the carrying on, on a large scale of timber felling, peat 
working and other work, quarters are wanted for workers, even of a temporary character. Hence 
again, we arrive at the necessity for a considerable amount of labour, for building purposes. A large 
number of workers are wanted for the organisation of lumber floating. And so on, and so on. 

Capitalist industry made use of auxiliary labour on a large scale, in the form of the peasant 
seasonal industries. The village, prompted by the pressure of insufficient land, always placed a 
certain surplus of labour on the market. The State compelled it to this by the dues it exacted. 
The market offered the peasant goods. Now there is none of this. Th? villages have received 
additional land, but there is a shortage of agricultural machinery, labour is wanted on the land, 
industry has nothing to give to the country at the present time, the market is no longer a source of 
attraction for labour. 

Meanwhile labour is more in demand that it ever was. Not only the worker, but the peasant 
must give the Soviet State all his energy, in order that labour Kussia, and with her, the workers 
themselves, may not be crushed. The only means of securing the labour essential for our economic 
tasks is the carrying into effect of labour conscription. 

The actual principle of labour conscription is, for a Communist, a quite indisputable one: " He 
who works not, neither shall he eat." And as everyone must eat, so all must work. Labour con- 
scription is outlined in our Constitution and in the Code of Labour Laws. Up to the present, 
however, it has remained a principle, and its application has borne a casual, partial, sporadic 
character. Only now, when we come straight up against the questions of the economic regeneration 
of the country, the question of labour conscription rises before us in all its concretoness. The only 
solution, theoretically and practically correct, of our economic difficulties at the pre'-ent time, is that 
the population of the whole country should be regarded as a reservoir of the necessary labour — an 
almost inexhaustible reservoir — and that strict order be introduced into its registration, mobilisation 
and utilisation. 

How are we in practice to proceed to the acquisition of labour on a basis of labour conscription? 

Up to the present time, only the War Department has had experience in the sphere of 
registering, mobilising, forming and transporting large masses of men. Our War Department has 
inherited this technical knowledge and experience principally from the past. It possesses no such 
inheritance in the economic sphere, where the principle of private contract operated, and labour went 
from the market to individual factories. Naturally, we are compelled, at all events at first, to utilise 
the organisation of the War Department for labour mobilisation. 

We have created special organs for carrying into effect labour conscription, both in the centre 
and in the provinces. Committees on labour conscription have been appointed in the governments,* 
uiezds and volosts. They lean for support, chiefly, on the central and local organisations of the 
War Department. Our Central Economic Departments for example — the Supreme Council of 
People's Economy, the People's Commissariat of Agriculture, the People's Commissariat for Ways 
and Communications, the People's Commissariat for Food, are working out these demands for the 
necessary labour. The chief committee on labour conscription receives these demands, co-ordinates 
them, and endeavours to meet them according as the local sources of labour will allow, gives the 
necessary orders to its local organisations and through them carries the mobilisation into effect. There 
are local organisations in the various provinces and uiezds which carry out this work independently, 
with a view to satisfying local economic demands. 

The whole of this organisation is only as yet in the rough. It is very incomplete as yet. But 
undoubtedly the right course has been taken. If the organisation of hociety on new lines leads to a 
new organisation of labour, then the organisation of labour involves, in its turn, the efficient 
realisation of Universal Labour Service. This task is in no way exhausted by the taking of merely 
administrative measures. It embraces the very fundamentals of economics and of life itself. It 
comes into contact with powerful factors, deriving their force from custom and prejudice and 
permeating the psychology of people. The carrying out of labour conscription pre-suppcses on the 
one hand, a colossal educative work, and on the other, the greatest caution in approaching it in 

Labour should be utilised as economically as possible. In carrying out local labour organisations 
it is necessary to take into consideration the economic conditions obtaining in each particular area, 
the demands arising out of the principal occupations of the local population, for example, agriculture, 
&c. As far as possible, plans should take into account the former skle-line and seasonal occupation 
of the local population. Mobilised labour should be transferred as far as possible to the nearest 
sections of the labour front. The number of mobilised workers should correspond to the extent of 
the work to be done. They should be supplied in proper time with rations and the implements 
necessary to their labour. Experienced and intelligent instructors should be appointed to lead them. 
They should be able to convince themselves on the spot that their labour is being utilised economically, 
effectively and not expended in vain. Where possible, direct mobilisation should be replaced by 
appointing local tasks to be accomplished, for example, imposing on a volost the duties of hewing 
a certain number of cubic sazhens of wood within a certain period of time, or transporting a certain 
number of poods of iron to such and such a station, and so forth. It is essential in this department 
to study with special care the gradually accumulating experience of those engaged on the work of 
infusing as much elasticity as possible into the economic apparatus, and to show greater attention to 
local interests and peculiarities. In a word, the methods and organs utilised for effecting labour 
mobilisation should be rendered more precise in application, better and more perfected to achieve 

* Government or province of Russia : uiezd or count}' of Eussia : volost or rural district council. 

[5631] U 


the end in view. But at the same time, it is essential once and for all to understand that the principle 
of labour conscription has just as radically and irrevocably replaced the principle of hired labour as 
the socialisation of the means of production has replaced capitalist property. 

The Militarisation of Labour. 

The realisation of labour conscription is unthinkable without applying — in one or another degree — 
the methods associated witb the militarisation of labour. This phrase ushers us at once into a realm 
hi the greatest superstitions and opposition howls. 

To understand what militarisation of labour means in a Workers' State and what are its methods, 
one must make clear to one's self the manner in which militarisation was carried out in the army 
itself, which, as we all remember, during the first period of its existence, possessed none of the 
necessary " military " qualities at all. We have mobilised for the Red army during these two years 
somewhat fewer soldiers than we had members in our trade unions. But the members of the trade 
unions are workers, while in the army the workers form only 15 per cent. — the rest are peasants. 
Nevertheless, we can entertain no doubt that the front-rank worker, recommended for service by 
the party, and the trade union organisations was the real builder and " militariser " of the Red army. 
When things were difficult on the fronts, when the freshly mobilised mass of peasants failed to show 
the necessary stability, we turned to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, on the one 
hand, and to the Presidium of the All-Russian Soviet of Trade Unions, on the other. From these 
two sources, front rank workers were despatched to the fronts and there built up the Red army in 
their own form and likeness — they trained, hardened and militarised the peasant mass. 

It is essential to remember this fact very clearly, because it at once throws a proper light on 
our conception of militarisation under the conditions obtaining in a Workers' and Peasants' State. 
The militarisation of labour has more than once been proclaimed as a watchword and carried into 
effect in various branches of industry in bourgeois countries, both in the west and with us under 
Tsarism. But our militarisation is to be distinguished in its aim and methods from these experiments, 
just as a conscious proletariat, organised for effecting its own liberation is to be distinguished from 
the conscious exploitation of the bourgeoisie. 

The majority of the prejudices, errors, complaints and protests upon this question proceed from 
the confusion, half -conscious, half -malicious of the historical forms of proletarian, socialist militarisa- 
tion with bourgeois militarisation. The attitude of the Mensheviks — our Russian Kautskians — as 
expressed in the resolution submitted by them to the present Trade Union Congress, is entirely based 
on confusions of this character. 

The Mensheviks are opposed, not only to militarisation, but also to labour conscription. They 
repudiate such methods as involving 'compulsion." They preach that labour conscription is 
synonymous with low production, and that militarisation promises an aimless waste of labour. 

' Compulsory labour has proved to be unproductive," — this is exactly how the Mensheviks put 
it in their resolution. It is an assertion which brings us to the very heart of the question. For it 
is not a question, as we see, of whether it is wise or unwise to place one factory or another under 
martial law; as to whether it is expedient or inexpedient to invest the War-Revolutionary Tribunal 
with the right to punish dissolute workers, who steal materials and instruments which are of such 
value to us, or who sabotage in their work. No, the question raised by the Mensheviks goes far 
deeper. Asserting that compulsory labour is in all circumstances unproductive, they try thereby to 
take the ground from under our policy of economic construction during the present transitionary 
period. For there is no question, but that a transition from bourgeois anarchy to a socialist economic 
structure cannot be achieved without a revolutionary dictatorship and compulsory forms of 

The Mensheviks state in the first clause of their resolution that we are living through the period 
of transition from capitalist to socialist methods of production. What does it mean? And, above 
all : since when this admission by our Kautskians ? They accused us — it formed the basis of our 
disagreement with them — of socialist utopianism; they affirmed — which is the essence of their 
political teaching — that there can be no question of the transition to Socialism during the epoch in 
which we live and that our revolution is a bourgeois revolution, and that we Communists are only 
destroying the economic organisation of capitalism ; not leading the country forward, but throwing it 
back. In this lay our fundamental disagreement, our deepest and most irreconcilable divergence 
of views, from which proceeded all the rest. In the introductory passages of their resolution, the 
Mensheviks now say, as something which asks no proof, that we now find ourselves in a state of 
transition from capitalism to socialism. This entirely unexpected admission which smacks remarkably 
like a capitulation, is the more frail and fleeting in that it does not impose, as the whole resolution 
indicates, any revolutionary obligations upon the Mensheviks. They remain wholly captivated by 
bourgeois thought. While admitting that we are at the half-way house on the way to Socialism, the 
Mensheviks do but with the greatest bitterness, assail those methods without which the 
transition to Socialism is impossible under the critical conditions of the present time. 

Compulsory labour — they tell us — is always unproductive. We ask : What do you mean by 
compulsory labour? That is, to what other form of labour do you wish to compare it? Evidently 
to free labour. What are we then to understand by free labour? The phrase " free labour " was 
formulated by progressive bourgeois thought as opposed to unfree labour, i.e., the corvee labour 
of the peasants and the regulated labour of the Artizan Guilds. By free labour they meant labour 
which could be bought " freely " on the open market — freedom reduced to a juridicial fiction on a 
basis of free-hire slavery. We know no other form of free labour in history. Let the few Mensheviks' 
representatives attending this Congress explain to us— what do they mean by free, non-compulsory 
labour, if not the labour market? 

History has known slave labour. History has known the corvee. History has known labour 
as regulated by the guilds in the Middle Ages. Throughout the world, there now predominates hired 
labour, which the yellow press of all countries opposes, as being the highest form of freedom to 
Soviet " slavery." We, on the other hand, place in antithesis to capitalist slavery, labour, subject 


to social regulation based on an enormous plan, obligatory for -the whole people, and consequently, 
compulsory for every worker in the country. The element of actual physical compulsion may be 
more or less — depending on many conditions : on the degree of a country's wealth or impoverishment, 
on the legacy of the past, on the level of culture, on the condition of transport, and the state of the 
administration, &c, but obligation and therefore, compulsion is the essential premise for shackling 
the anarchy brought about by the bourgeoisie, for specialising the means of production and labour and 
reconstructing the economic organisation of the country upon a single unified plan. 

Freedom, for a Liberal ultimately means the market. A capitalist measures freedom of labour 
solely by whether he can or cannot buy labour at the current price. It is a measure false, not only 
in relation to the future, but also to the past. 

It would be absurd to think that labour under the corvee operated entirely under the rod of 
physical compulsion, that the foreman stood with a knout over every muzhik's back. The forms 
of economic organisation in the Middle Ages developed out of certain factors conditioning production, 
and created certain forms of life, to which the muzhik became accustomed, and which, at certain 
epochs he considered just, or at least, accepted as immutable. When he revolted, influenced by 
changes in his material condition, the State coerced him with its material force, and by this very 
fact revealed the compulsory character of the organisation of labour. 

The question as to the life or death of Soviet Eussia is now being decided on the front of labour. 
Our economic, and with them, our trade union manufacturing organisations, have a right to demand 
of their members the same measure of self-sacrifice, discipline, and execution, as only the army 
alone has hitherto demanded. 

On the other hand, the relationships of the capitalist to the worker are in no wise exhausted 
by " freedom " of contract only, but include a powerful apparatus of State regulation and material 

The competition of one capitalist with another has attached a certain, a very partial measure 
of reality to the fiction of freedom of labour; but this competition, reduced to a minimum by 
syndicates and trusts, we have finally abolished by destroying private ownership of the means of 
production. The transition to Socialism, verbally admitted by the Mensheviks, denotes a transition 
from the psychological distribution of labour, from a game of buy and sell, from movements of market 
prices and rates of wages, to a systematic distribution of labour by the economic organisations of 
the provinces, the uiezds arid the country as a whole. This is the essence of labour conscription, 
which invariably falls into the programme of the Socialist organisation of labour, as its fundamental 

If systematic economic organisation is impossible without labour conscription, then labour 
conscription is incapable of realisation without the abolition of the fiction of freedom of labour, which 
must be superseded by obligation, reinforced by the reality of compulsion. 

That free labour is more productive than compulsory- — is entirely true with regard to the period 
of transition from feudalism to bourgeois society. But it is necessary to be a Liberal, or — in our day — 
a Kautskian, in order to perpetuate this truth and apply it to the transitionary period from the 
bourgeois to the Socialist order. If it is true that compulsory labour is unproductive, as the Menshevik 
resolution states, then our whole constructive programme is doomed to failure. For there can be 
for us no other way to Socialism, other than the arbitrary disposition of the economic forces and 
resources of the country, other than the centralised distribution of labour in accordance with a 
unified State plan. The Workers' State considers it has a right to send every worker to the place 
where his labour is necessary. And not a single serious Socialist will deny to the Workers' State 
the right to lay hands on the worker who refuses to carry out his labour orders. But the essence of 
it all is, that the Menshevik way of transition to " Socialism is a milky way — without a bread 
monopoly, without destroying the market, without a revolutionary dictatorship and without the 
militarisation of labour. 

Without labour discipline, without the right to order and demand the execution of orders, the 
trade unions will become mere form without substance, because they are necessary to the con- 
structive Socialist State, not for the purpose of fighting for better conditions of labour — this is a task 
for the social and State organisation as a whole — but to organise the working class for the purpose 
of production, to train, discipline, distribute, group and fasten to their posts for definite periods the 
various categories of workers and individual workers — hand in hand with the State — arbitrarily to 
bring the workers within the limits of a single economic plan. To stand out for the " freedom " of 
labour under these conditions, means to stand out for a fruitless, helpless, unsystematical searching 
after better conditions, disorderly chaotic migrations from one factory to another in a starving 
country, suffering from a terrible collapse of transport and the food administration. What will be 
the result of such an inept attempt to combine bourgeois freedom of labour with the proletarian 
socialisation of the means of production — save the complete dissolution of the working class and 
complete economic anarchy? 

Therefore, comrades, the militarisation of labour in this fundamental sense, which I have 
described, is not the invention of individual politicians or of our War Department, but is the 
inevitable method to be adopted for organising and disciplining labour during the transitionary epoch 
from Capitalism to Socialism. If the compulsory distribution of labour, its attachment for short or 
long term periods to particular branches of industry and to particular factories, its regulation in 
accordance with the general economic programme of the State — if all these forms of compulsion 
always and everywhere lead — as the Menshevik resolution states — to a decrease in production — then 
place a cross on Socialism. For it is impossible to build up Socialism on decreased production. 
Every social organisation is at bottom an organisation of labour. And, if our new organisation of 
labour leads to its decreased productivity, then, by this very fact, the Socialist society which is 
being built up is inevitably on the way to ruin, however, we may twist and turn, and whatever 
measure of salvation we try to improvise. 

I therefore said from the very beginning that the Menshevik conclusions against militarisation 
lead us to the fundamental question of labour conscription and its influence upon the productivity of 
labour. Is it true to say that compulsory labour is always unproductive? Our reply is that this is 
a most sorry and empty Liberal prejudice. The whole question is, who applies compulsion over 

[56311 U 2 


whom and for what purpose? What State, what class, in what circumstances, by what methods? 
!Ehe corvee was in a certain set of circumstances, a step forward, and led to increased productivity 
of labour. Production grew enormously under Capitalism, i.e., during the period of free buying 
and selling of labour on the market. But Eree labour, together with all capitalism, in entering on 
the imperialist stage, burst itself in the course of the imperialist war. The whole economic 
organisation of the world has entered on a period of bloody anarchy, monstrous upheavals, of the 
impoverishment and ruin of the popular masses. Can one speak at the present time of the pro- 
ductivity of free labour, when the fruits of this labour are being destroyed ten times more quickly than 
they are being created ? The imperialist war and what followed it, revealed the impossibility of 
society's further existence on the basis of free labour. Or, perhaps, someone possesses the secret 
of how to separate free labour from red-hot imperialism, i.e., to turn solid development half-a-century 
or a century hack. If it appeared that the systematic, and therefore the compulsory organisation of 
labour, which is coming to supersede imperialism, would lead to a lower economic level, then this 
would mean the perishing of our culture, the retrogression of humanity to barbarism and savagery. 

Happily, not only for Soviet Kussia, but also for the whole of humanity, the philosophy of 
under every and any conditions " is only a tardy chant of worn-out Liberal melodies. The 
productivity of labour is the product of the most complex combination of social conditions and is 
not to be measured or predetermined by the judicial form of labour. 

The whole history of humanity is the history of the collective organisation and training of man 
for labour, for the purpose of attaining a higher measure of production. Man, as I have already 
permitted myself to say, is lazy, i.e., he instinctively strives to obtain as much as possible with the 
less expenditure of effort. The growth of civilisation is measured by the productivity of human 
labour, and every new form of social relationship must pass the test on this donkey. 

'Free," i.e., hired, labour by no means immediately revealed itself to the world in the full 
panoply of productivity. It only gradually acquired a high measure of productivity, as a result 
of a long application of methods of labour organisation and labour training. The most varied methods, 
changing from one epoch to another, entered into this educative process. The bourgeoisie first drove 
the muzhik out of the village with a club on to the high road, having robbed him beforehand of his 
land, but when he did not wish to work in the factories it branded his forehead with a red-hot iron, 
hanged him, or sent him to the galleys, and, finally, accustomed the broken vagabond from the village 
to the factory bench. At this stage, we see that " free " labour is even less distinguishable from hard 
labour as regards its material conditions and legal aspect. At different epochs the bourgeoisie, in 
varying degrees, combined certain methods of moral suasion with torture by red-hot irons, above all, 
the priests and their sermons. Already in the sixteenth century it reformed the old Catholic religion, 
which had defended the feudal system, and adapted to its own purposes a new religion, in the form 
of the Reformation, which combined freedom of thought with free trade and free labour. It found 
itself new priests, who became spiritual clerks, honorary accountants of the bourgeoisie. The school, 
the press, the Town Hall and Parliament were adapted by the bourgeoisie for the moral preparation 
of the working-class. Various forms of wages, daily, piece-wage, contract, collective bargaining— all 
these were only varying methods in the hands of the bourgeoisie for the labour-drilling of the 
proletariat. To this was added every sort of inducement to labour and incitement to " careerism." 
Finally, the bourgeoisie were even able to secure possession of the trade unions, i.e., the organisations 
of the working-class, and to make use of them on a wide scale, especially in England, for the purpose 
of disciplining the workers. It won over the leaders and with their help imbued the workers with 
the conviction that the peaceful organic development of labour was essential, an irreproachable 
attitude to their duties and a strict observance of the laws of the bourgeois State. Taylorism came 
to crown all this labour, in which the elements of the scientific organisation of production went hand 
in hand with the most concentrated methods. 

It seems clear from what has been said that the productivity of hired labour is something 
dished up ready and served out by history. No, it is the result of the long and stubborn repressive, 
educative, well-organised and seductive policy of the bourgeoisie with regard to the working-class. 
Step by step it has learnt to squeeze out of the workers an ever greater amount of production, and 
one of the most powerful weapons in its hands has been the proclamation of hired labour as the 
only free, normal, healthy, productive and economical form of labour. 

Such a juridical form of labour which would (in itself) guarantee production has never been 
and cannot be in history. The juridical idea of labour corresponds to the conditions and conceptions 
of a certain epoch. Production increases proportionately to the development of technical science, the 
training of labour, the gradual adaptation of the workers to changing means of production and to 
new forms of social relationships. 

The creation of Socialist society, means the organisation of the workers on new principles, their 
adaptation to these principles, their re-education as workers with the immutable object of increasing 
production. The working-class, under the guidance of its vanguard, must re-educate itself on a 
basis of Socialism. He who has not understood this, is unacquainted with the alphabet of Socialist 

What are our methods for re-training the workers? They are incomparably wider in their compass 
than those of the bourgeoisie — and are also honourable, straight, open, unsullied either by hypocrisy 
or lies. The bourgeoisie has been compelled to deceive, calling its labour free, whereas in actuality 
it is not only a social imposition, but also slave labour. We are now organising labour in the interests 
of the workers, and that is why we have no need to hide any of the motives which impel us to state 
the socially compulsory character of labour organisation. We have no need of pious Liberals, or 
Kautskian fables. We say straight and openly to the masses that it is theirs to save, to raise and 
set in order a Socialist country only by means of stern labour, unconditional discipline, the most 
accurate execution of orders by every worker. 

The chief of the means at our disposal — is moral suasion, propaganda, not only in word, but deed. 
Labour conscription has a compulsory character, but this does not mean that it is a form of violation 
over the working-class. If labour conscription met with hostility from the majority of the workers, it 
would be broken, and with it the Soviet regime. The militarisation of labour against the will of 
the workers themselves is an " arakcheevshchina." The militarisation of labour by the consent 


of the workers themselves is the Socialist dictatorship. That labour conscription and the militarisation 
of labour do not violate the will of the workers, as " free " labour did, the nourishing of voluntary 
labour — unprecedented in history — in the form of Labour Saturdays* (subbotniki) bears witness best 
of all. Nowhere and at no time has been such a phenomenon. By their voluntary, disinterested 
labour — once a week or more frequently — the workers clearly demonstrate not only their readiness to 
support the burden of " compulsory " labour, but their tendency to give the State certain additional 
labour, over and above this. The Labour Saturdays are not only a magnificent example of Communist 
solidarity, but the surest guarantee of the successful realisation of labour conscription. These truly 
Communist tendencies should be investigated, extended and intensified with the help of propaganda. 

The principal spiritual weapon of the bourgeoisie is religion; with us it is the frank explanation 
to the masses of the real state of affairs, the dissemination of historical and technical knowedge, the 
initiation of the masses into the general economic plans of the State, in accordance with which all 
the labour at the disposal of the Soviet Government must be utilised. 

Political economy formed the principal subject of our agitation during the past : the capitalist 
order of society was a riddle and we revealed to the masses the answer to this riddle. Now social 
riddles are revealed to the masses by the very mechanism of the Soviet regime, which attracts 
workers into all branches of administration. The further political economy goes, the more historical 
importance will it derive. The sciences, investigating nature and the means of her subjection to man, 
are placed in the foreground. 

The trade unions must organise technical courses on the most extensive scale possible, in order 
that every workman may find in his own work opportunities for exercising his theoretical knowledge, 
which should become reflected in his work, making it more productive. The press must be adapted 
to the economic problems of the country — not only in the sense in which it operates now, i.e., not 
in the sense of a particular or general agitation for the purpose of rousing labour enthusiasm, but 
in the sense of promoting discussions and appreciations of concrete economic problems and plans 
of ways and means of execution, and above all — of verifying and appraising the results which have 
been attained. The papers ought day by day to follow the working of the most important factories 
and other enterprises, registering their success and failure, encouraging and censuring them. 

Kussian capitalism, in virtue of its backwardness, lack of independence, and the parasitic 
features which proceed from this, succeeded in a far less degree than European capitalism in 
instructing and disciplining the working masses for the purpose of production. This task now 
devolves wholly on the trade union organisations of the Proletariat. A good engineer, a good 
machinist, a good smith, must enjoy such a reputation in Soviet Eussia as formerly was enjoyed by 
the most prominent agitators, revolutionary heroes, and recently, by the most courageous and able 
commanders and commissaries in the army. Leaders of technical science, small and great, must 
occupy a central position in the attention of the public. Bad workers must be made ashamed 
because they are ill-acquainted with their work. 

We have maintained, and shall have to continue for a considerable period, wage payment. The 
further we go the more will the significance of the wage consist in the guaranteeing of all members 
of society with everything of which they stand in need; by this very fact it will cease to be a wage. 
But at the present time we are not yet sufficiently rich for this. Our fundamental task is to increase 
the quantity of goods produced, and everything must be subordinated to this. During the present 
critical period the wage is for us first and foremost not a means for guaranteeing the personal 
existence of an individual worker, but a means of estimating what an individual worker brings by 
his labour to the workers' republic. 

Therefore the wage both monetary and in kind, must be made as far as possible accurately to 
correspond with the productivity of individual labour. Under the capitalistic system, payment was 
made under the piece-work system, and also according to the number of hours worked, the application 
of Taylor's methods, &c. These systems had as their object the increased exploitation of the workers 
by squeezing out surplus profits. With the specialisation of industry, piece-work payment, premiums, 
&c, have as their object the increase of mass production and consequently the raising of the standard 
of general welfare. Those workers who did more than others to promote the common interest, 
received the right to a greater share of production than the idle, careless and disorganising workers. 

Finally, while rewarding some, the workers' state cannot abstain from punishing others, that is, 
those who obviously destroy the solidarity of labour, who undermine the work as a whole, to the 
detriment of the social regeneration of the country. Repression for the attainment of our economic 
aims is an essential weapon of the Socialist dictatorship. 

All the measures enumerated above — and, together with them, a series of others — 'will guarantee 
the development of competition in the field of production. Without this we can never rise above a 
middling, mediocre level of production, entirely incommensurate with our needs. The instinct of 
life — the struggle for existence— which assumes the character of competition under the bourgeois 
regime, lies at the basis of this mutual rivalry. Mutual rivalry will not disappear in developed 
Socialist society but, with society becoming more and more guaranteed as regards those things 
which are essential for the support of life, this rivalry will acquire a more and more disinterested, a 
purely spiritual character. It will find expression in the striving to render the greatest possible 
service to one's village, uiezd, town, or society as a whole, and the receiving in return of reputation, 
gratitude, sympathy, or lastly, simply the eternal satisfaction derived from the consciousness of 
work well done. But at this critical time of transition, under conditions of extreme poverty in 
material wealth, and of our insufficiently developed (as yet) sense of social solidarity, competition 
must inevitably be, in one or another form, bound up with the striving to guarantee to one's self 
articles of personal consumption. 

* In view of the serious economic situation in Russia, Communist organisations began during 
1920 to engage in various forms of voluntary work on Saturdays which are usually, as in this country, 
set apart as a day of rest for workers. The Russian word for Saturday is " Subbota," and these 
days of voluntary work therefore became known as " Subbotniki." 


Here, comrades, you have a summary of the means which lie at the disposal of -the workers' 
state for raising production. There is, as we see, no ready-made solution. It is nowhere written in 
any book. Such a book there could not be. We are now only beginning with you to write that book 
in the sweat and blood of the toilers. We say : Workers, men and women, who have entered on the 
path of systematised labour, only thus will you build up Socialist society. Before you stands a problem 
which no one will decide for you, the problem of raising production on new social principles. If you 
fail to solve this problem, you will perish. If you solve it, you will raise up humanity to a higher 

The Labour Armies. 

We have approached the question of adapting the army to labour tasks (whicb derives with us' 
a vast significance from the point of view of principle) as it were empirically and without regard to 
theoretical considerations. On certain frontiers of Soviet Russia, a situation has arisen in which 
considerable military forces have been released for indefinite periods from their activities in the field. 
It would be a matter of some difficulty, especially in winter, to throw them on to other active 
sections of the front, in view of the disorganisation of railway transport. Such, for example, was 
the position of the Third Army, occupying the Ural and Cis-Ural provinces. The foremost workers in 
this army, understanding that we were not as yet in a position to demobilise the army, themselves 
raised the question of transferring it to the labour front. They sent into headquarters a more or less 
detailed scheme on the possibility of establishing a labour army. It was a new problem and far from 
easy. Would the soldiers of the Red army work? Would their work be of a sufficiently productive 
character? Would it make itself pay? There were doubts on these questions, even among ourselves. 
It goes without saying that the Mensheviks beat the Opposition drums. The same Abramovich,* at 
the Congress of Councils of People's Economy, in January or at the beginning of February, i.e., at a 
time when the scheme was only in draft, prophesied that we courted an inevitable failure, because the 
whole enterprise was downright nonsense, an '' Arakcheevshchian " utopia, &c. We thought 
otherwise. Of course, the difficulties were great, but they were no more difficult in principle than any 
other of the problems of Soviet construction. 

Let us look actually at what the organism of the Third Army presents in itself. Few actual 
fighting units l-emained in this army: in all, one rifle division and one cavalry corps — in all, fifteen 
regiments, and special detachments besides. The remaining fighting units had been previously 
transferred to other armies and fronts. The apparatus of army administration has, however, remained 
untouched, and we thought that we should have to throw it in the spring along the Volga, on to the 
Caucasus front against Denikin, if by that time he had not been entirely broken. On the whole, there 
remained in the Third Army about 120,000 Red army soldiers in administrative units, fighting units, 
hospitals, &c. In this general total, principally composed of peasants, there were calculated to be 
16,000 Communists, and members of sympathetic organisations, including a considerable number of 
Ural workmen. Thus, in composition and organisation, the Third Army represented a mass of 
peasants, united in a military organisation under the leadership of tne foremost workers. There was 
also a considerable number of military specialists, fulfilling important military functions, and under 
the general political control of the Communists. If the Third Army is looked at from this general 
standpoint, it presents in itself a reflection of all Soviet Russia. Take the Red army as a whole, take 
the organisation of the Soviet Government in the province, the uiezd, or throughout the republic, 
including its economic organisations — we will everywhere find the same scheme of organisation : 
millions of peasants, who are being introduced into new forms of political, economic and social life by 
the organised workers, who occupy a leading executive position in all branches of Soviet construction. 
Specialists of the . bourgeois school are appointed to posts demanding special knowledge ; they are 
afforded the necessary independence, but the control over then; work is retained in the hands of the 
working class, in the person of the Communist Party. The carrying into effect of labour conscription 
is also only thinkable if, similarly, the mobilisation of the predominantly peasant mass is carried out 
under the direction of the foremost workers. Thus there were not, and could not be, any difficulties 
of principle in the way of adapting the army to labour objectives. In other words, the objections of 
principle raised by the Mensheviks against the labour armies were essentially objections to compulsory 
labour in general and, consequently, to labour conscription, and against Soviet methods of constructive 
economics as a whole. We overrode these objections without difficulty. 

Of course, the military machine, as such, is not adapted to direct labour processes. But we have 
not attempted to do this. Control must be left in the hands of the corresponding economic organisa- 
tions; the army supplies the necessary labour in the form of organised, compact, units, adaptable 
en masse for carrying out simple direct tasks, such as the cleaning of railway track from snow, the 
felling of wood, building work, organising haulage, &c. 

We have now acquired a considerable experience in adapting the army to labour objectives, and 
are now in a position to advance beyond mere conjectures to consider the actual possibilities which 
it presents. What are the conclusions we base on this experience? The Mensheviks have already 
hastened to conclusions : Abramovich declared at the Miners' Congress that we were bankrupt, that 
the labour armies were parasite formations, where every ten workers need two people to serve them. 
Is this true? No! This is the irresponsible and malicious criticism of people who look on from a 
distance, who don't know the facts, who pick up rubbishing fragments and everywhere either declare 
us bankrupt or prophesy it. In actual fact, the labour armies are not only not bankrupt, but. on the 
other hand, have achieved no small measure of success, have proved their vitality, are continuing to 
evolve and becoming more and more stable. It is those prophets, foretelling that nothing would come 
of the whole idea, who said that no one would work, that the soldiers of the Red army would refuse 
to go to the labour front, and would simply dispei'se to their homes, who have gone bankrupt. 

* Abramovich is the member of the Central Committee of the Menshevik Party who left Russia 
with Martov, the leader of the Mensheviks, in the autumn of 1920, and is now in Berlin, assisting 
Martov to edit a Menshevik journal, "The Socialist News." 


These objections were dictated by petty bourgeois scepticism, distrust of the mass,* distrust of 
daring, organising initiative. But were we not assailed with the same objections when we proceeded 
to tackle the task of mass mobilisation for military purposes? They then frightened us with mass 
desertions, which they regarded as inevitable after the imperialist war. Desertion, of course, there 
was, but experience showed it to be not at all of the wholesale character with which they tried to 
frighten us; it did not destroy the army; the binding force of moral and organisation, Communist 
voluntary effort and State compulsion, together guaranteed the mobilisation of millions, the organisa- 
tion of numerous formations and the execution of the most difficult military tasks. The army 
ultimately conquered. On a basis of our military experience, we expected the same results with 
regard to the labour tasks which face us. We have not been mistaken. The soldiers of the Red army 
did not disperse to their homes on being transferred from military to civil employment as the sceptics 
prophesied. Thanks to a well-organised propaganda, the actual transfer was accomplished with a 
display of enthusiasm. It is true that a certain number of soldiers tried to leave the army, but this is 
always so when it comes to transferring a large military force from one front to another, or from the 
rear to the front — the army inevitably gets shaken up and the potential desertion becomes actual. 
But here the " Politoldiely " (Political Departments),! the press, the organisations for combating 
desertion, &c, entered on their duties, and the percentage of deserters in the labour armies is now no 
higher than in our armies on the war fronts. 

The contention that the army, by virtue of its internal structure, can only make available an 
insignificant percentage of workers is only partly true. As regards the Third Army, I have already 
pointed out that it has maintained its administrative organisation completely intact, while possessing 
a very small number of fighting units. As long as we maintained the army intact, from purely 
military and not economic considerations, the staff and administrative units were indeed extremely 
small but, of a grand total of 110,000 men, 21 per cent, were employed in administrative posts ; the 
number of those on daily orderly duties (guards, &c.) owing to the large number of army institutions 
and stores was about 16 per cent. ; the number of sick, chiefly down with typhus, together with the 
army medical units in attendance, was about 13 per cent. ; those absent for various reasons (detailed 
for special purposes, on leave, absent without leave) formed about 25 per cent. There were thus 
available for labour 23 per cent, in all; this is the maximum from the given army at that time. In 
actual fact, only 14 per cent, worked during the first period, chiefly drawn from the two divisions— 
the rifles and the cavalry corps — which still remained with the army. But as soon as it appeared that 
Denikin was broken, and that we should not have to come to the help of the troops on the Caucasian 
front, and send the Third Army down the Volga, we immediately proceeded to liquidate the 
cumbrous military apparatus and to adapt the organisations of the army more nearly to the labour 
tasks confronting it. Although this work has not yet been completed, it has already given important 
results. At the present moment, J the former Third Army is supplying as workers about 38 per cent, 
of its total complement. The combatant units of the Ural military district, which are working together 
with it, are already making available for "labour 49 per cent, of their total complement. These results 
are not so bad, if compared with the statistics on factory attendance, where at many factories, not 
long since, and at some even to-day, absenteeism, for legal and illegal causes, attains to 50 per cent, 
and higher. It should be added that the workers in the factories are often served by adult members 
of their families, while the soldiers of the Bed army perform all their own services. 

If we take the 19 year olds, mobilised principally for lumber purposes in the Ural with the help 
of the military machine, it appears that, out of the total number of them, over 30,000, more than 
75 per cent., present themselves for work. This is already a big step forward. It shows that, in 
applying the military machine for purposes of mobilising and forming units, we make such changes 
in the organisation of a purely labour unit as will guarantee a vast increase in the percentage of those 
taking part in the material process of production. 

Finally, we can now judge from experience with reference to the productivity of military labour. 
At first the productivity of labour in the principal branches of labour, notwithstanding great 
enthusiasm, was in reality extremely low, and would appear to have been entirely discouraging, 
judging from the first labour reports. Thus, at first fifteen working days were taken to hew a cubic 
sazhen of wood, whereas the normal time for a similar amount of production is three days, although 
rarely attained at the present time. It must be added that an expert lumberman is capable, under 
favourable conditions, of hewing a cubic sazhen in a day. What were the facts in this case? The 
military units were stationed at some distance from the fellings. In many instances 6-8 versts had 
to be traversed to and from work, which consumed a considerable part of the working day. There 
were not enough axes and saws available on the spot. Many soldiers who had been brought up in the 
steppe country were unacquainted with forest areas, and had never rolled logs, nor cut and sawed 
them. The Provincial and Uiezd Forest Committees were far from being able to find out at once how 
best to utilise military units, how to detach them to the necessary posts, and to equip them properly. 
It is not astonishing, therefore, that all this should have had as its result an extremely low standard of 
production. But after the most crying shortcomings of organisation had been overcome, far more 
satisfactory results were achieved. Thus, according to the latest figures, it now takes a man four 
working days to hew a cubic sazhen of wood in this same first labour army, which is not much more 
than the normal time. The most consolatory feature is, however, the fact that productivity of labour 
is systematically rising proportionately to the improved circumstances under which work is carried 
on. What can be done in this sense is shown by the short but very rich experience derived from the 
Moscow Regiment of Engineers. The Central Department of Military Engineering, guided by this 
experience, began by establishing as the normal standard of work one cubic sazhen of wood per man 

*Note. — It will be seen by reference to paragraph 232 (section on trade unions) that Trotsky was 
himself accused of distrusting the masses at a meeting of the Transport Workers' Union in 
December 1920. 

t Note. — The " Politoldiely " were organisations established by the Communist Party for under- 
taking propaganda work throughout the army. 

I Note. — It must be remembered that this refers to the earlv summer of 1920. 


every three working days. This standard was soon passed — in .January — and a cubic sazhen was hewn 
in '2! 2 working days; in February in 2-1 days; in March, 1-5 days, which is a particularly high standard 
of production. This result has been achieved by moral suasion, by accurate appraisal of individual 
work, by awakening ambition in the worker, granting premiums to those workmen who surpass the 
average standard of production, or, to adopt the language of the trade unions, by an elastic tariff, 
adapted to all the individual aspects in production. This experience, almost of a laboratory character, 
clearly points the way along which we must travel in the future. 

We now have a series of labour armies operating — the First, the Petrograd, the Ukrainian, the 
South Volga and the Reserve. The last named has co-operated, as is well known, in securing a 
considerable increase in the locomotive power of the Kazan-Ekaterinburg railway, and everywhere, 
where the application of military units to labour objectives was in any way reasonably carried out, the 
results have shown that this method is indisputably sound and practical. The prejudice regarding 
the inevitable parasitic growths of military organisation, under any and every condition, is dispelled. 
The Soviet army will reproduce within itself the same tendencies which have characterised the Soviet 
social order. We must not think the lukewarm thoughts of an epoch which is past about 
■militarism." 'military organisation," 'the unproductiveness of compulsory labour"; we must 
approach without prejudice, openmindedly, the phenomena of the new epoch, and remember that the 
Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, that all forms of organisation, among them 
military organisation, are only weapons at the disposal of the working class, which has the right and 
the possibility of applying, modifying and reconstructing these weapons until the desired result is 

A Single Economic Plan. 

The introduction of labour conscription on a wide scale, in addition to measures for the 
militarisation of labour, will only be enabled to play a decisive role if they are carried out in 
accordance with a single programme of economic activity. This plan should be calculated to operate 
over a term of years and to cover the immediate future. It will naturally split up into separate 
periods in accordance with the inevitable stages in the economic regeneration of the country. We 
have to begin with the simplest, and at the same time, the most fundamental tasks. 

The first thing we have to do is to guarantee to the working-class — even though it be under the 
most onerous conditions — the actual possibility of living, and thus to preserve the centres of industry, 
and save the towns. This is the starting point. If we want to avoid the dissolving the towns in 
xhe villages, industry into agriculture, making peasants of the whole community we must maintain 
our transport, even though on a minimum basis, and so guarantee bread to the towns, fuel and 
raw material for industry and forage for the cattle. Without this we will not make a step 
forward. The most immediate part of the programme is therefore to improve transport, at the 
very least to avert its further decline, and to make available the essential supplies of food, raw 
materials and fuel. The immediately ensuing period will be entirely taken up with the concentration 
and intensification of labour for the solution of these fundamental problems — which alone will create 
the premise upon which the whole of the future is to be based. This task, in particular, we have 
entrusted to our labour armies. Whether the first period, and those which follow it, ai'e to be 
measured, in months or years cannot be foretold — this depends on many factors, beginning with the 
international situation, and ending with the degree of unanimity and endurance of the w-orking- class. 

The second period is that of engineering construction in the interests of transport, the obtaining 
of raw material and food. Here the question of locomotives comes first and foremost. 

At the present time the repairing of locomotives is being carried on in far too primitive a fashion, 
swallowing up an inordinate amount of physical effort and material resources. The repairing of 
rolling-stock can only be placed on a proper footing by the mass production of spare parts. Now at 
a time when all the railways and factories are in the hands of one master, the Workers' State, we 
can, and must, supply the whole country with standard types of locomotives and rolling-stock; we 
must standardise their component parts, we must place all the necessary factories on the mass 
production of spare parts and approximate repairs to the simple replacing of worn-out parts by new 
ones, and thus guarantee the assembling of new locomotives en masse out of spares. Now that 
the sources of fuel and raw material are once more open to us, we shall have to concentrate attention 
exclusively on locomotive construction. 

The third period — is that of engineering construction in the interests of manufacturing articles 
which are universally in demand. 

Finally, we come to the fourth period, which, resting on the conquests of the three previous 
periods, will make it possible for us to proceed to the manufacture of articles of personal consumption 
on the most extensive scale. 

This plan derives great importance, not only because it affords a general guiding line for the 
practical work of our economic organisations,. but also because it affords a guiding line for propaganda 
among the working masses with regard to our economic problems. Your labour mobilisations will 
be of no practical value, they will not take root if we do not seize on all that which is honourable, 
conscious, animate in the working-class. We must explain to the masses the whole truth of on- 
position and of our view r s upon the future. We must tell them openly that our economic plan, even 
with the maximum of intensive effort on the part of the workers, will not give us either to-morrow, 
or after to-morrow, a land flowing with milk and honey, because we shall be devoting all our labours 
to preparing the conditions necessary to production during the immediate future. Only if we are 
successful in guaranteeing in minimum measure the possibility of re-establishing the means of 
transport, shall we be in a position to proceed to the manufacture of articles of general necessity. 
Thus the fruit of our labours, in the form of articles of present consumption, which have direct personal 
importance for the workers, will be received only in the course of the fourth and final stage of the 
economic plan, and not until then shall we begin to experience a sensible improvement of our 
conditions of life. 


The masses, who will continue to support the burden of trial and privation for a considerable 
period to come, must understand in all its breadth of meaning the inevitable inner logic of this 
economic plan, in order that they may be able to bear it upon their shoulders. 

The alternation of the four economic periods enumerated above must not be understood too 
literally. We, of course, do not propose to stop, for example, our textile industry immediately and 
completely : we cannot do this for military considerations alone. But, in order that our attention and 
energies may not be diverted under the pressure of demands which are crying out for satisfaction 
on all sides, it is essential, being guided by our economic plan as our fundamental criterion, to 
separate what is fundamental from what is of secondary importance. It goes without saying that 
we are, under no circumstances, striving towards a circumscribed " national" form of Communism. 
The raising of the blockade and far more, the European revolution, will introduce important 
modifications into our economic plan, shortening the stages of its development and drawing them 
closer together. But we do not know when these events will take place, and we must act in such 
a manner as to stand fast and strengthen ourselves under the most inevitable, that is to say, the 
most slow conditions of progress. In the event of an actual establishment of trading relations with 
Capitalist countries, we shall continue to be guided by the economic plan, which has been outlined 

We will offer a part of our raw material in exchange for locomotives or for any other essential 
machinery, but in no sense in exchange for clothing, foot-wear, or Colonial wares. First and foremost, 
we need no articles for consumption, but machinery for transport and production. 

We would be short-sighted sceptics of a petty bourgeois type if we imagined that the regeneration 
of our economic life will take the form of a gradual transition from the present complete economic 
chaos to the position as it was before the breakdown occurred, that is, that we are going to advance 
up the same path by which we have descended, and that only in the course of a certain, fairly 
prolonged period, shall we succeed in bringing our Socialist economy to the level at which the 
economic position of the country stood on the eve of the Imperialist war. To imagine that such 
will be the case will not only prove an empty consolation, but would be completely incorrect. The 
chaos, which has destroyed and broken up untold wealth, has also destroyed much that was outworn, 
senseless and mere red tape in economic organisation, and has thus cleared the way for new con- 
structive efforts in accordance with those technical data which are now in the possession of economic 
organisations throughout the world. 

If Russian Capitalism developed without passing gradually from step to step, but by jumping 
over a whole series of steps and began to build factories in the virgin steps, then SO' much the more 
forced and artificial will be the path open to Socialist economy. After we have overcome poverty and 
after we have stored up raw material and food, after we have improved our transport, we can then 
gallop over a whole series of intervening steps, availing ourselves of the fact that we are no longer 
barred by the fetters of private property, and are, therefore, able to subordinate all the enterprises 
and elements of economic organisations to a unified State programme. 

Thus, for example, we shall undoubtedly proceed to the electrification of all the fundamental 
branches of industry, and also to electrification in the sphere of personal consumption, without 
passing afresh through the " age of steam." A programme of electrification* has been prepared by 
us to be carried out in a series of consecutive stages, in accordance with the fundamental divisions 
of the general economic plan. 

A new war would hinder the realisation of our economic plans ; our energy and endurance can 
and must hasten the process of economic regeneration. 

However fast or slow events may move, it is clear that our unified economic plan must be placed 
as the basis of all our work, of labour mobilisations, of the militarisation of labour, of Labour 
Saturdays and other forms of Communist voluntary labour service; and that the immediate future 
demands from us the most complete concentration of all our energy on the primary problems — food, 
fuel, raw material and transport. Do not let your attention wander, do not let your strength be 
dissipated. This is the only road to salvation. 

The Collegiate System and Individual Control. 

The Mensheviks are trying to put their money on another horse, which seems to them to afford 
a favourable chance for their endeavours to rehabilitate themselves with the working-classes. This 
is the question regarding the administration of industrial enterprises, the question of the Collegiate 
system and individual control. We are told that to hand over factories to the control of individuals, 
instead of entrusting their administration to a Collegium, is a crime against the working-class and the 
Socialist revolution. It is remarkable that the most ardent defenders of the Socialist revolution 
against individual control should be these same Mensheviks, who, not so very long ago, considered 
that to raise the very cry of the Socialist revolution was a mockery of history and a crime against 
the working-class. 

Our Party Congress appears to be most guilty before the Socialist revolution, in that it declared in 
favour of a gradual modification of factory administration in the direction of individual control, and, 
above all, in the smaller links in the chain — in the factories and workshops. It would, however, be 
the greatest mistake to regard this decision as in any way interfering with the independence of 
action (self-action literally) of the working-class. The independence of action of the working-class 
is not to be defined and measured by whether three workers or one are placed at the head of a factory, 
but by considerations of a more fundamental character; by the construction of economic organs 
with the active participation of the trade unions, by the building of all the Soviet organs through 
the Congresses of Soviets, representing tens of millions of working people; by attracting to the task 
of administration and control those who are themselves serving under the various administrations 

* Trotsky refers to the programme elaborated by the engineer Krzhanovsky, which formed the 
subject of a report by him before the 8th All-Russian Congress of Soviets 

[5631] . X 


this is where the initiative of the working-classes finds expression. And if the working-class, on a 
basis of its experience, conies to the conclusion through its Congresses — party, Soviet and trade union 
— that it is better to have one man at the head of a factory and not a Collegium, then this is a 
decision dictated by the sell-action of the working-class. It may be right or wrong from the point 
of view of administrative technique, but it is not a thing imposed upon the proletariat, but is 
dietated at its discretion and by its will. It would be a gross mistake to confuse the question of the 
domination of the proletariat with that of the Workers' Collegia at the head of the factories. The 
dictatorship of the proletariat finds expression in the abolition of private ownership over the means of 
production, in the supremacy of the collective will of the workers over the Soviet machine, but in no 
wise over the form of administration of individual economic organisations. 

It is necessary here to answer another criticism, directed against the advocates of individual 
control. Our opponents say: " These Soviet militarists are trying to transfer their experience gained 
in the military sphere, to the economic sphere. The principle of individual control may be excellent 
in the army, but it is no good in industry." This is entirely incorrect. It is not true to say that we 
began with individual control in the army; even now, we are far from having wholly adopted it. It is 
untrue to say that, in defence of the individualist form of administration — utilising specialists — we 
have begun to act only on the basis of our military experience. Indeed, on this question we have, 
and are proceeding from a purely Marxist understanding of the revolutionary objectives and con- 
structive tasks of the proletariat, who have taken power into their own hands. The necessity for 
utilising the technical knowledge and experience which has been accumulated in the past, the 
necessity of attracting specialists and utilising their services extensively, in order that the technical 
side of industrial enterprise should not fall to pieces, but develop — all this we understood and 
recognised, not only from the beginning of the revolution, but long before October 1917. In my 
opinion, if civil war had not come to dislocate our economic organisations, draining them of all that 
was most robust, resolute and independent in them, then undoubtedly we should have long before 
and with far less difficulty entered on the path of individual control in the sphere of industrial 

Some of our comrades look upon the apparatus of industrial administration, above all, as 
a school. This is, of course, fundamentally wrong. The task of administrative organs is — to 
administer. He who wants to learn how to administer, let him go to a training school, let him 
attend instructional courses, let him be apprenticed to experienced administrators, let him see 
how things are done and acquire experience ; but the man who is appointed to administer a factory 
is not going into a school, but to a responsible administrative post. But even if we regard the 
question from the limited and perverted point of view of a school," then I say that a school is 
ten times better under individual control, because if you replace one good worker by three 
inexperienced ones, then, having established a Collegium of three inexperienced persons for a responsible 
administrative post, you deprive them of any possibility of knowing what is necessary for the work. 
Each looks to the other when it comes to taking decisions, and accuses the others when failure results. 

The opponents of individual control clearly show that this is no mere question of principle, 
because they do not demand the establishment of the collegiate system in the workshops and the 
mines. They even indignantly assert that only madmen would demand that collegia of threes and 
fives should be charged with the running of a workshop; there must only be one, and only one in 
charge. "Why? If the collegiate system is a school," why should 'nt we need a school of a lower 
type? Why should 'nt we establish a collegium in the workshop? But if the collegiate system is not 
to be regarded as a Holy Testament for the workshop, why should it be obligatory for the factory? 

On this point Abramovich has said that, as we are so short of specialists — the fault of the 
Bolsheviks, according to Kautsky — we ought to replace them with collegia of workers. This is 
nonsense. No collegium, formed out of persons who don't know the job, is capable of superseding 
one man who does know the job. A collegium of jurists can't take the place of a signalman. A 
collegium of invalids cannot take the place of a doctor. The whole idea is wrong. The collegium 
itself cannot give knowledge to the ignorant. It can only serve to conceal the ignorance of the 
ignorant. If you appoint a person to a responsible post, then it is soon clear, not only to others, but 
also to himself, how much he knows and how much he doesn't know. But there is nothing worse 
than a collegium of ignoramuses, of workers ill-prepared to fill a purely practical post, which demands 
special knowledge. The members of a collegium are in a state of perpetually losing their heads, of 
mutual dissatisfaction, and introduce indecision and chaos into the whole work by their very helpless- 
ness. The working class is vitally interested in raising its ability to administer, i.e., in training itself, 
but in the sphere of industry this is attained by the factory directorate periodically making reports 
before the workers of the factory, and discussing with them the plan of action which has been decided 
on for the year, or the current month, and all the workers who display a serious interest in the task 
of industrial organisation will be registered by the directorate of the undertaking, or by special 
registration commissions, will be passed through suitable courses intimately connected with the 
practical work of the factory itself. After this, they will be appointed at first to less responsible posts, 
and later to more responsible ones. In this way we shall secure many thousands, and, in the future, 
tens of thousands. As for the question of collegia of threes and fives, it interests not the working 
masses, but the more backward and weaker members, less adaptable to independent work, of the 
Soviet working-class bureaucracy. The front rank, conscious, stable administrator naturally strives 
to take the factory wholly into his own hands, to prove to himself and others that he can administer. 
But if this administrator is weak and not firmly seated in the saddle he will show a desire to attach 
others to his person, because in company with them his own shortcoming!? will be the less obvious. 
In this collegiate system there is a great danger, the danger of personal responsibility being 
extinguished. If the worker is able, but inexperienced, he needs, of course, to be directed; at the 
hands of a director he will learn, and to-morrow we will appoint him a director of a small factory. 
But in the loose organisation of a collegium, where the strength and -weakness of each one is not 
clearly revealed, the sense of responsibility is inevitably extinguished. 

Our revolution speaks of a systematic approach towards individual control, not, of course, of a 
realisation of individual control with a stroke of the pen. Several variations and combinations are 
possible. Where the worker is capable of carrying on alone, we will put him at the head of a factory, 


and give him a specialist to help him. Where a specialist is good, we will place him at the head of a 
factory, and give him an assistant, perhaps two or three, chosen from the workers. Finally, in case;s 
where a collegium has proved its efficiency, we will retain it. This is the only serious way of 
approaching the question, and only thus will we come to a satisfactory organisation of industry. 

There is one other consideration, connected with the question of train-ng, which appeals to me 
as important. (1) With us the numbers of those among the working class who are capable of 
administration is very small. They are those who have known the " underground," who have fought 
the revolutionary struggle, who have lived abroad, who have read much in prison and exile, who have 
acquired political experience, a wide horizon — this is the most valuable element of the working class. 
(2) After them come the younger generation, who consciously carried on our revolution from 1917. 
This also is a very valuable element of the working class. Wherever we turn our eyes — to the 
structure of the Soviets, to the trade unions, to party work, to the front of civil war — everywhere 
this upper strata of the proletariat is seen to be playing a leading part. The principal administrative 
work of the Soviet Government during the past two and a half years has been so to manoeuvre that 
this upper strata of the workers has been constantly moved from one front to another. The lower 
strata of the working class, who have come up out of the peasant mass, although filled with the 
revolutionary spirit, are too lacking in initiative. What our Russian muzhik suffers from is the 
psychology of the herd, absence of personality that is, just what our reactionary " populists " used 
to praise, just what Leo Tolstoy made famous in the character of Platon Karataev ;* the peasant, 
confined within the commune, is bound to the soil. It is quite evident that Socialist economics are 
not to be based on Platon Karataev, but on workmen full of thought, initiative, and a sense of 
responsibility. It is essential to cultivate this initiative in the worker. Individuality among the 
bourgeoisie is the individuality of self-interest, of competition. Individuality among the working class 
contradicts neither solidarity of interest nor fraternal co-operation. Socialist solidarity cannot rest 
upon the effacement of individuality, upon the psychology of the herd. Meanwhile, the effacement of 
personality is often found concealed behind the collegiate system. 

There is much force, ability and talent in the working class. Individual control in the sphere of 
administration will assist to develop this. That is why it is a higher and more fruitful method of 
administration than the collegiate system. 

Concluding Words of the Report. 

Comrades, the arguments of the Menshevik speakers, especially Abramovich, betray, above all, 
complete alienation from practical life and its problems. A person stands on the bank of a river 
which he has to swim across, and discusses the properties of water and the strength of the current. 
To swim across — that is the task ! But our disciples of Kautsky shift from one leg to the other. 
" We do not deny," he says, " that it is necessary to swim across, but in addition to this, being 
realists, we see the dangers, which are not one but several: the current is swift, there are submerged 
rocks, people are tired, &c. But they tell you that we deny the very necessity of swimming across, 
then that it is not so — not at all. Even twenty-three years ago we did not deny the necessity of 
swimming across . . . 

It's all based on this sort of thing from beginning to end. Firstly, the Mensheviks say, " we do 
not deny and have never denied the necessity of defence, therefore we do not deny the necessity for 
the existence of the army. Secondly, we do not deny obligatory national service in principle." Well, 
but where, save among a few religious sects, are there people in the world who would deny the necessity 
of defending oneself, as a general rule? However, the fact of your abstract admission does not help 
matters forward at all. When it comes to a real struggle and to the creation of a real army against 
the real foe of the working class, what did you do then? You went into opposition, you sabotaged, 
while not denying the necessity for defence as a general rule. You spoke and wrote in your papers : 
' Down with civil war ! " At the same time you supported the White Guards and thrust your knee 
on our throat. You now, approving, as an afterthought, our victorious defence, turn your criticism to 
new ends, and inform us : "In general we do not deny the necessity for labour conscription," you say, 
' but without compulsion by law." There is, however, in these words a monstrous internal contradic- 
tion! The conception of " conscription " in itself comprehends the element of compulsion. A man 
who is conscripted is obliged to do something. If he fails to do it, it is clear that he will be compelled 
and suffer punishment. We then come to> the question: " What is compulsion?" Abramovich says : 
Economic pressure, but not compulsion by law." Goltsman, the representative of the Metal 
Workers' Trade Union, has excellently shown up the scholasticism of this statement. Already under 
capitalism, that is, under the regime of " free " labour, economic pressure is inseparable from juridical 
compulsion. So much the more so now ! 

I tried to make clear in my report that the instruction of the workers ;d new forms of labour on 
new social principles and the attainment of higher productivity are only possible by means of the 
simultaneous application of several methods : economic interest, legal compulsion, the influence of an 
internally co-ordinated economic organisation, the force of repression, above all, moral suasion, 
propaganda, agitation, finally a general raising of the cultural level — that only by a combination of 
all these means is it possible to attain a high level of Socialist economic organisation. 

If, under the capitalist regime, economic interest went hand in hand with legal compulsion, at 
the back of which there stands the material power of the State, so also in the Soviet State, i.e., in 
the transitionary stage on the way to Socialism, it is impossible to make any dividing-line between 
economic and juridical compulsion. With us, all the more important enterprises are in the hands of 
the State. When we say to the joiner, Ivanov : ' You will now have to work at the Sormovo 
factory; if you refuse, then you'll get no rations," what is this, economic or juridical compulsion? 

* Note : In Tolstoy's "War and Peace," Platon Karataev is one of the fellow-prisoners of the 
wealthy, liberal-minded Russian nobleman, Count Peter Bezukhov, in the concentration camp 
established by the French military authorities during the occupation of Moscow by Napoleon in 1812. 

[5631] X 2 


He can't go to another factory, because all the other factories are in the hands of the Slate, which 
won't allow him to transfer. Therefore, economic pressure merges here with the repressive action of 
the State. Abramovich, evidently, wishes that we, as the regulators of the distribution of labour, 
should only make use of increased wages, premiums, &c, in order to attract the necessary workers 
to the most important factories. Clearly, this is las idea, But if it is so, then every practical trade 
union worker will realise that it is pure utopianism. We cannot hope for a free flow of workers from 
the labour market, because for this it would be necessary for the State to have in its hands sufficiently 
mobile resources in food, lodgings and transport, i.e., those very conditions which we have to create. 
Without a massive transference of workers, systematically organised by the State, according to the 
estimates of the economic organisations, we can do nothing. Here we have the need for compulsion 
revealing itself to us in all its economic cogency. I have read you a telegram from Ekaterinburg 
about progress in the work of the First Labour Army. There it is stated that more than 4,000 
qualified workers have passed through the hands of the Ural Committee on Labour Conscription. 
Whence have they come? They have not been dispersed to their homes, but sent according to 
definite orders. From the army they were handed over to the Committee on Labour Conscription, 
which divided them up into categories and sent them to the various factories. This is, from the 
Liberal point of view, " a violation " of personal liberty. The vast majority of the workers, however, 
willingly transferred to the labour front, just as before they had gone to the war front, understanding 
that the highest interest of the State demanded this. Some of them went against their will. They 
were compelled. It is clear that the State must place the best workers, by means of the premium 
system, under better conditions of life. But this in no way excludes, but on the contrary presupposes, 
that the State and the trade unions, without which the Soviet State cannot build up industry, acquires 
certain new rights over the workers. The worker does not simply proceed to make a deal with the 
Soviet Government; no, he is under obligation to obey the State, because it is his State. 

" If," says Abramovich, " we were simply speaking of trade union discipline, there would be no 
need to shiver lances over this"; but besides this, there is "militarisation." Of course, we are 
touching largely upon trade union discipline, but also of a new discipline of new manufacturing trade 
unions. We live in a country of Soviets, where the working class rules — a fact which our Kautskians 
don't seem to understand. When the Menshevik, Bubstov, said that, judging from my report, there 
remained of the trade unions nothing but the horns and hoofs, there was a grain of truth in it. It 
is true that little remains of the trade unions, if by this is understood associations of the old trade 
type; there are, however, producing trade union organisations of the working class, which, as 
conditions are in Soviet Bussia, have the greatest tasks before them. What tasks? Of course, not 
the task of fighting the State in the interests of labour, but the task of building up Socialist economy, 
hand in hand with the State. Such a type of union is in principle a new form of organisation, to be 
distinguished not only from the old trade unions, but also from the revolutionary trade unions in 
bourgeois society, just as the rule of the proletariat is to be distinguished from the rule of the 
bourgeoisie. The producing union of the ruling working class has neither the same tasks before it, 
nor does it adopt the same methods or the same discipline as the unions whose object it is to promote 
the struggle of the oppressed class. With us it is obligatory upon all workers to belong to the unions. 
The Mensheviks are against this. This is quite understandable, because they are actually against 
the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what it really comes to. The disciples of Kautsky are 
against the dictatorship of the proletariat, and are, by this very fact, opposed to all its results. 
Economic compulsion and political compulsion are only forms of the manifestation of the dictatorship 
of the working class in two closely allied departments. It is true that Abramovich has impressively 
informed us that there will be no compulsion under Socialism, that Socialism will operate by the 
sense of duty, the custom of work, its attractiveness and so forth. This is indisputable. It is only 
necessary to extend the application of this indisputable truth. The crux of the whole business is 
that under Socialism there will be no necessity for the apparatus of compulsion — the State — which 
will have become entirely merged in the producing and consuming Commune. Nevertheless, the path 
towards Socialism lies through the highest and most intensive development of the State. And both 
you are and we are passing through this period. Just as a lamp, before going out, splutters 
brightly forth into a flame, so the State, before disappearing, assumes the form of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, i.e., the form of the most merciless State, which imperatively grasps the lives of 
its citizens on every side. Abramovich, and all the Mensheviks together, have not noticed this 
detail, this historical stepping-stone — the State dictatorship — and they have stumbled over it. 

There is no other organisation, except the army, which has gripped men in the past with such 
severe compulsion, as the State organisation of the working-class during this most onerous period 
of transition. This is why we speak of the militarisation of labour. The fate of the Mensheviks — 
is to cling to the skirts of events and accept those parts of the revolutionary programme which have 
already lost all practical significance. Menshevism, now — although with reservations — has ceased 
to dispute the legality of punishing the White Guards and the deserters of the Bed army — it has 
been compelled to recognise this after its own unfortunate experiences with " democracy." It has, 
it appears, understood — as an afterthought — that it is impossible to confine oneself to fine phrases 
about Socialism having no need of Bed terror, when face to face with counter-revolutionary forces. 
But in the realm of economics, the Mensheviks still try to make us think of the days of our sons, and 
especially our grandsons. However, it is obligatory upon us to proceed immediately now to economic 
reconstruction, without dallying, in circumstances conditioned by our grievous heritage from bourgeois 
society and the civil war which has not yet come to an end. 

Menshevism, just as " Kautskianstvo " in general, is sunk in democratic banalities and Socialist 
abstractions. Again and again it becomes clear that, for the Mensheviks, there exist no objectives 
for the transitory period, i.e., the period of the proletarian revolution. Hence proceeds the barrenness 
of their criticism, guidance, plans and recipes. It is not a matter of what will be in 20 or 30 years 
time — then, of course, it will be far better — but how to emancipate ourselves from chaos to-day; how 
to-day best to distribute our resources in labour; how to-day to increase production, what in 
particular, to do with the 4,000 qualified workers, whom we have despatched to the Ural 
from the army. Are we to set them free to wander to the four quarters of heaven, saying : 
'Go seek, where it is best, comrades?" No, we cannot do this. We have placed them in 


military echelons, and despatched them to works and factories. 'In what is your Socialism 
different — exclaims Abramovich — from the slavery of Egypt? In much the same manner did 
the Pharaohs construct the Pyramids, by compelling the masses to toil." What an inevitable 
analogy for a "Socialist!" Here again the same little detail is neglected: the class nature of 
authority. Abramovich sees no difference between the Egyptian regime and ours. He has forgotten 
that in Egypt there were the Pharaohs, there were slave-owners and slaves. It was not the peasants 
of Egypt who decided through their Soviets to build the Pyramids — there you had a hierarchical and 
caste social order — and the workers were compelled to toil by a class hostile to them. With us 
compulsion is carried into effect by the Workers' and Peasants' Government, in the name of the 
interests of the working-class. This is what Abramovich has failed to notice. We have been taught 
in the school of Socialism that all social development is based on classes and the class struggle, and 
that the whole course of life is conditioned by what class stands in power and by the character of the 
objectives towards which its policy is directed. This is what Abramovich does not understand. 
He may be well enough acquainted with the Old Testament, but Socialism is for him a sealed book. 

Pursuing the path of superficial Liberal analogies, unheedful of the class nature of the State, 
Abramovich would be capable of identifying the Bed with the White (which the Mensheviks have 
done in the past more than once). Both here and there, there have been mobilisations of 
predominantly peasant masses. Both here and there, there were not a few officers who graduated 
in one and the same school of Tsarism. The same rifles, the same cartridges in both camps — where 
lies the difference? There is a difference, gentlemen, and it is conditioned by the fundamental token 
— who stands in power? The working-classes or the nobility, the Pharaohs or the Muzhiks, the 
White Guard or the Proletariat of Petrograd? There is a difference and to it the fate of Yudenich, 
Kolchak and Denikin bear witness — they have crumbled into dust. No, there is a difference between 
the Soviet regime and the regime of the Pharaohs — and not in vain did the Petrograd proletariat 
begin their revolution by shooting the " Pharaohs " in the belfries of Petrograd. (So-called Tsarist 
police, whom the Minister of the Interior, Protopopov, posted in the last days of February 1917, on 
the roofs of the houses and in the belfries of churches, armed with machine-guns. Translator's note.) 

One of the Menshevik orators endeavoured to depict me as the advocate of militarism in 
general. According to him it appears, you see, that I defend nothing more nor less than German 
militarism. I was endeavouring to prove, it would appear, that a German N.C.O. is 
a marvel of nature, and that all he creates is above imitation. What did I actually 
say? Only this, that militarism in which all the characteristics of social development 
find the most finished, bevelled and acute expression, may be looked at from two 
standpoints : firstly, from the political or Socialist standpoint — and here it wholly depends on what 
class hold the reins of power, and, secondly, from the standpoint of organisation, as a system where 
duties are strictly defined and allocated, precise inter-relationships, unconditional responsibility for 
stern executive action. The bourgeois army is an apparatus for the brutal repression of the 
workers; the Socialist army is a weapon for the liberation and defence of the working-classes. But 
the unconditional subjection of a part to the whole is a feature common to every army. A harsh 
internal regime is inseparable from military organisation. In war any slovenliness, unconscientious 
attitude to duty and even simple inaccuracy, will often bring in their train the heaviest losses. 
Hence the tendency of military organisation to bring clearness, form, accuracy and responsibility to 
the highest possible limit. Military qualities of this character are to be valued in every branch of 
activity. In this sense I said that every class values the services of those of its members who, other 
things being equal, have accomplished military service. The German — let us say — " fist ' (rich 
peasant), leaving the barracks as an N.C.O. , was dearer to the German Monarchy and is dearer 
to-day to Ebert's Kepublic than the ' fist " who has not accomplished military service. The 
organisation of the German railroads was placed on a high level of efficiency largely owing to the 
appointment of N.C.O's. and officers to administrative posts in the Department of Ways and 
Communications. In this sense we have something to learn from militarism. Comrade Tsiperovich, 
one of our most prominent trade union workers, has testified to us here that a trade unionist who has 
undergone a course of military training, who has occupied, let us say, the post of Commissary of a 
regiment for the period of a year, has in no wise become the less fitted to pursue successfully his 
trade union duties. He returns to his union the same proletarian from the crown of his head to 
the sole of his boots, for he has fought for the cause of the proletariat; but he returns tempered like 
steel, made a man of, more independent, more decisive, for he has become accustomed to find 
himself in highly responsible positions. He has had to lead several thousand Bed army soldiers, of 
various levels of consciousness — the majority of them peasants. He has shared with them victory 
and defeat, he has been with them in the attack and on the retreat. There have been instances of 
treachery among the officers. During " fist " revolts and panics — he has stood fast by his post, has 
held in hand the less conscious mass, guided it, inspired it by his example, and meted out punishment 
to traitors and slackers. This is a great and valuable experience. And when the former regimental 
Commissary returns to his trade union, he becomes no mean organiser. 

On the question of the Collegiate system, the arguments of Abramovich are just as hopeless as 
on other questions — these are the arguments of one who looks on from aside, standing on the bank 
of a river. 

Abramovich has explained to us that a good Collegium is better than bad individual control, and 
that a good specialist must enter a good Collegium. All this is excellent — only why don't the 
Mensheviks offer us a few hundreds of such Collegia? I am sure that the Supreme Council of 
People's Economy would find a sufficient use for them. But we, who are not onlookers, but workers, 
must build from the material which lies to our hand. We have specialists, of whom, let us say, 
one-third are conscientious and efficient, another third semi-conscientious and semi-efficient, and 
the remaining third — good for nothing. Among the working-classes there are many talented self- 
sacrificing and energetic people. Some — alas few- — have already acquired the essential knowledge 
and experience. Others possess the character and ability, but lack the experience and knowledge. 
Others have neither the one nor the other. Out of this material we have to create factory and other 
administrations, and it is impossible to confine ourselves to general phrases. First and foremost, we 
must take all workers, who have already proved in practice that they are capable of administration, 


and give them the possibility of standing on their own feet — these men want individual control, 
because the factory administration is not a school for laggards. A resolute, competent workman 
wants bo administer, li he comes to a decision and gives an order, that order must be carried out. 
He can be superseded, but that is another matter altogether, and, while he is master — a Soviet 
proletarian — he possesses complete direction and control over the organisation. If you include him 
in a Collegium of the weaker brethren, who meddle in the administration, you will achieve nothing. 
Such a workman-administrator should be given a specialist-assistant — one or two — according to the 
nature of the enterprise. If no such worker-administrator exists, but there does happen to be an 
honest and competent specialist, we will put him at the head of that enterprise, we will give up 
two or three of the most prominent workers to help him, so that every decision of the specialist will 
be known to his assistants; but they should have no right to change it; they will do their work step 
by step according to the specialist's orders, and learn, so that in six months or a year they will be 
qualified to occupy posts of responsibility. 

Abramovich has quoted me as giving the example of a hairdresser, who commanded a division 
in the army. True ! What, however, Abramovich does not know, is that if we have Communist- 
comrades, who have begun to command regiments, divisions, and armies, it is because they have 
formerly been Commissaries attached to military specialists. The specialist, who knows that he 
will have to answer in full if he makes a mistake, bore the responsibility : he cannot say that he is 
only an "adviser," or a "member of Collegium." At the present time the majority of army 
commands, especially in the lower grades of the service, i.e., politically, the most important posts 
are occupied by workers and the foremost peasants. But what did we begin with? We placed 
officers in command, and workers as Commissaries, and thus they learnt, and learnt with success, 
and taught themselves to defeat the enemy. 

Comrades, we are in the midst of a difficult period, perhaps the most difficult period of all. 
Harsh measures correspond to harsh times in the lives of peoples and classes. The further we go 
the easier will it be, the freer will every citizen feel himself to be, the less noticeable will be the 
compulsion exercised by the Proletarian State. Perhaps we shall then allow the Mensheviks to 
publish papers, if only they succeed in surviving till then. But we now are living through a period 
of Dictatorship- — political and economic. The Mensheviks continue trying to undermine this dictator- 
ship. When we are fighting on the civil front defending the revolution from its foes, and a Menshevik 
paper writes: " Down with civil w r ar!" — this we can't allow. Dictatorship is dictatorship, and war, 
war. And now, when we prepare to turn the highest possible concentration of energy into the field 
of economic regeneration, the Russian Kautsskians, the Mensheviks, remain true to their counter- 
revolutionary calling: their voice sounds as of yore of doubts and dissolution, of disruption and 
undermining, distrust and downfall. 

Does it not appear monstrous and absurd, when, at this Congress, where one-and-a-half thousand 
representatives, representing the Russian working-class, are gathered together, a Congress in which 
the Mensheviks form less than 5 per cent, and the Communists about 90 per cent. Abramovich 
tells us: " Do not be carried away by such methods, when a particular gang of persons takes the 
place of the people." 

" Everything through the people," — says the representative of the Mensheviks — " Let there 
be no wardship over the working-masses!" And further: " It is impossible to convince a class by 
argument." Do but glance at this hall: there is the class: the working-class is here before us, and 
with us, and you, miserable handful of Mensheviks, are trying to convince it with petty bourgeois 
argiiments. You desire to be the guardians of this class. But they have their own high standard of 
independence, and have shown it in jostling you aside and leaving you to go your own way. 

Appendix IX. 

Russian Trade Unions. 
(Translation from Russian.) 

Extract from Article entitled " The Problems of the Trade Union Movement," by Tukhanov, 
Secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Union of Workers in the Poly graphical 
Trade. " Vserossiisky Pechatnik " (the " All-Russian Printer "), March 1920. 

" The most vexed question in the trade union movement to-day is that of the tariffs. The actual 
conditions of life deprive all schemes and decrees almost of any force whatever. The complete 
devaluation of money reduces to nothing the paper money which forms the wages of the workers. 
The impossibility of existing on the officially established wage compels the workers to seek other ways 
of supplementing their earnings. The workers neglect their job, occupying themselves during working 
hours with trade, transporting commodities from one place to another and with working on cottage 
industries. The thieving of public property in the factories — the workers resorting to it — attains 
unheard-of limits. All this, taken together, does incalculable harm to the economic position of the 
State, and places great obstacles in the way of re-establishing it. 

" The only solution of the problem is the naturalisation of wages (payment in kind). The steps so 
far taken in this direction are not sufficiently decisive. Greater energy must be put into them. The 
naturalisation of wages will create the fundamental premises for organising production. This is one 
of the principal tasks of the trade unions. 

" Our enemies, the Mensheviks and other supposed Socialists, when they speak of the labour 
armies and labour discipline, cry out in helpless malignancy that the Soviet Government is intro- 
ducing an " Arakcheevshchina ' in Russia, restoring the ' Krepostnoe pravo,' that it is going to 
reimpose upon the working class the old capitalist yoke, &c. Many ignorant, suburban-minded 
comrades fall into this lure, and profess themselves unable to understand why the Communists 


fought for the eight-hour day under the old regime and now don't protest when a ten to twelve-hour 
day is worked at one factory or another, and even encourage such a working day. They (the 
Communists) always pointed out that there should be no army, that compulsory labour never attains 
its end, Ac, while now they support the Red army in the field or devote it to the so-called labour 
front. 'What is the meaning of this? There is here at first sight a contradiction, but it will only 
seem so to unenlightened comrades. To those who understand, who read the papers, books, attend 
lectures and meetings, it is clear that the Communists in those days weie lighting the capitalists, 
and strove to give them as little opportunity as possible of sucking vast profits out of the workers, 
profits devoted either entirely to satisfy their own needs, on squandering and debauch, or put away 
on deposit for the future exploitation of the luckless slaves of capitalism — the workers. And then, 
quite naturally, the Communists stood for the shortening of the working day, striving to deprive the 
capitalist of so large a part of his profit as possible. Now the picture is very different. 

" The working class in Russia has become the owner of all the factories and works. All that is 
done in them will be for his benefit and no one else's. And, as more is produced in the factories, the 
position of the workers will, so far from deteriorating or remaining at the same level, as under the 
capitalist regime, improve considerably, and it will be possible to proceed not only to an eight-hour 
but a six-hour working day. But at the moment the Communists are pointing out to the workers 
that, as the accursed war has destroyed the economic life of the country, and the workers are on the 
brink of perishing and beggared, the railways destroyed, no locomotives to transport millions of poods 
of corn, produced in one Government, to the starving districts of another, now that the machinery 
of the factories has been greatly knocked up during the war, and there is no hope yet-a-while of 
getting new supplies from abroad, only keen working effort can save the situation. To increase 
production, re-establish industry, banish disorganisation, the horny palm and nothing else is 

" It would be the greatest crime to speak of the shortening of the working day, of the disbanding 
of the Red army, the military tasks of which have not yet been entirely completed, the centralised 
force of which is essential both for labour and the execution of every other task. We must talk, 
not of rest, but of iron, labour discipline. This must be our exhortation; of this we must shout 
everywhere ; and the Soviet Government was a thousand times right when it transferred our Red 
army comrades to the labour front. 

" Labour for us, Russian workers, has become a holidav and not a yoke . . . ." 


Appendix X. 

(Translation from Russian.) 

People's Commissariat of State Control: A Report of the Commissariat, prepared by A. G. 
Mashkovich, based upon data collected by the Extraordinary Revisionary Commission of the 
Council of Defence, Moscoiv 1919. 


Organisation of the Food Administration. 

" A series of revisions of the work of the Food Administration, and even more so, the actual 
results of its activities, point to its being nowhere of any use at all. The organisation is cumbrous, 
there is lack of initiative and it is costly in working. If regard be had to the results achieved, it will be 
seen that the efforts of the workers and peasants to organise end in failure owing to their astonishing 
incompetence and inertia. There is no co-ordinating and supervising control, either central or local, 
to which the proletarian food detachments and the committees of the village poor may look for 
guidance; whose (i.e., the proletarian food detachments and the committees aforesaid) efforts are 
widely diffused and scattered and often distort the instructions of the Soviet Republic for the carrying 
out of economic policy. 

' According to the reports of competent persons, the food administrations possess no experienced 
staff, no clear and speedy methods of accountancy and no reliable statistics. The question arises, 
what are they doing and what end do they serve '? 

' If we turn to the centre and study the working of the endless sections, sub-sections and offices 
of the People's Commissariat of Food, the same picture presents itself: floods of paper, responsible 
officials overwhelmed with correspondence, hundreds of clerks, bored, without initiative, looking upon 
their work as a burden, displaying extraordinary indifference towards visitors — this is the external 
side. Within there is no such thing as a single plan of action, assimilated by all directors of depart- 
ments, permitting of the efficient disposal of everyday work and based on a clear comprehension of 
the end in view and the methods necessary to attain it in all parts of the Republic. 

Such is the general picture and description of the activities of the People's Commissariat for 
Food and its local organisation, given by a comrade who is closely associated with the work of the 
food organisation. 

' The Extraordinary Revisionary Commission completely confirmed this report, and established 
the absence of any united food administration, and the fact that there exist only branches and sections 
operating each in their own way, almost entirely on their own responsibility and risk and at their own 

' First and foremost, is it possible to speak of any stable structure among the organs of the 
Komprod, at all events, as far as concerns its central department? Hardly so. At the head of the 
Komprod stands a collegium, at the head of certain of its departments stand other collegias, while 
there are none in connection with other branches of the administration. Further, the collegium, 
after working for a considerable time, comes to the conclusion one fine day that its activities bear 


an opportunist character, that they have no sound foundation, that it is necessary to lay one down 
and that quickly — in three days. Thus the collegium of the Komprod decided to elaborate 
instructions for the existing collegium of the Zagotosel (department for controlling village produce). 

' The various administrations and departments and the purposes which they are devised to fulfil 
are in a state of fluidity, with a clearly defined tendency to exaggerated inflation and endless sub- 
division of departments. A department is transformed into an administration, which gives it an 
opportunity of splitting up into other departments, and of dividing the departments into sections and 
the sections into sub-sections. This process of "inflation" and splitting up of functions is by no 
means always calculated to accord with necessity, and often has its origin in the desire to establish 
corresponding staffs. Mushroom departments are formed, little ' Principalities of Monaco,' with a few 
persons as staff, one of whom is the director, another his substitute, and, after him, come those in 
charge of sections, sub-sections, &c, and so no one's nose is put out of joint. 

' A month ago a decree was published prescribing the transformation of the Transport Section 
into an administration. If the motive mentioned above is not responsible for this decree then we are 
led to believe that a certain ' superstitious belief ' in the efficacy of high-sounding names can alone be 
said to account for it. The Komprod, which was in no hurry to carry out the recommendations of 
the December food conference regarding transport, will not vary the quality of the goods by merely 
changing the name of the firm. The tendency to jump from one thing to another is even more 
interesting and remarkable. In November the Department for Exchange of Products was trans- 
formed into the Department for Redistribution of Products, which signified a tacit confession of the 
failure of exchange. In the process of carrying the decree of the 21st November into effect the 
Department for the Distribution of Products began to extend and diffuse itself. Its subordinate 
departments sprang up like mushrooms, and revisionary inspectors daily brought to light some new 
section organised on the old lines, which began its work in isolation from other sections, for all the 
world like Eobinson Crusoe on the desert island. One reorganisation follows after another. A 
continual reshuffling of departments, peregrination from one building to another, and a new increase 
of staff for not one of the reforms prescribed effects economies. This can be seen if the formation of 
the Department for General Distribution be taken as an example. The Glavs and Centres are charged 
with the preparation of manufactured goods, with ascertaining supplies and forming them, while the 
Glav Produkt is occupied with their distribution. It would seem that the role of the Glav Produkt 
would be almost annulled on the formation of the Department of General Distribution, but, with a 
view to precluding such a happening, a note is introduced into the scheme, approved in principle, to 
the effect that the Glav Produkt is charged with ascertaining the amount and nature of available 
supplies, which in itself creates parallelism with the Glavs and is an instance of supererogation. 
Apart from this or that personal motive, this illustrates the general tendency of the Komprod : to 
maintain a mass of workers even when there is nothing for them to do. The same thing took 
place as a result of the abolition of the Revisionary Inspection Department. In place of this 
department there arose a Special Section, with functions so ill-defined that even the heads of it 
are unable to give a clear account of themselves. The abolished department has re-established itself, 
as one risen from the dead, having changed only its name. And it should be mentioned that the 
Special Section has inherited from the Revisionary Inspection Department a staff almost identical in 
proportion (number ?). In the organisation of the new department there is another curious feature. 
Its initiator, who had been appointed a member of the collegium of the Department of General 
Distribution, soon after the confirmation of the scheme ceased to serve in the Komprod. This, we 
may remark, among others, is an extraordinarily characteristic phenomenon : people come and go, 
changes in the department are extremely frequent. Another of the responsible directors of the 
Komprod numbers after his name a multitude of departments and sections, over which he has 
gradually acquired control. All this is very much in the nature of a gymnastic feat. 

' The number of members in the collegium of the Komprod is not fixed by law ; the collegium has 
recently increased so that it consists of fourteen to fifteen members; this is a large collegium, out of 
which a small collegium is formed for deciding, principally, questions of staff. The questions which 
are placed for consideration before the large collegium, drafts of decrees, reorganisation of depart- 
ments, the appointment of members of collegia, representatives, liaison with other departments, 
regarding fixed prices, &c, may be said for the most part to be " parade " questions arising in a 
more or less haphazard order, and the collegium will often decide analogous questions differently. 
In order to judge whether the collegial system in the Komprod and certain of its departments has 
justified itself, in order to judge of its advantages or otherwise over individual control, it would be 
necessary to observe some equality of conditions. On the one hand, the personnel, on the other, the 
character of the work and the conditions under which it is done, present such inconsistencies that 
comparison is made difficult. There is, however, no doubt that the activities of the existing collegia 
in the Komprod call for much criticism. Apart from the casual character of the questions which 
come before them, it is necessary to mention that, in actuality, the business life of the collegia is not 
properly regulated. It would seem that the collegia, upon which serve persons responsible for one or 
another branch of the Komprod, ought to have co-ordinated the scattered sections of the Komprod, 
establishing unity of form, removing parallelism, facilitating mutual relations, decreasing correspon- 
dence and speeding up executive action. Work of this kind would show that the collegium forms an 
indivisible part of the organisation which it unites, that it had entered, so to speak, into the very 
heart of the work. This does not exist, unfortunately. Certain responsible members of the collegium 
are unacquainted with the technique and organisation of the institution in which they work. The 
fact that this circumstance was, by order of the Council of People's Commissaries, to be the subject 
of special investigation on the part of the State Control, bears witness to this. It is a very 
characteristic phenomenon. The question of supplying engineering and textile factories with food 
was discussed in the Council of People's Commissaries. The representatives of the Komprod present 
proposed immediately to ascertain from the Komprod to what factories supplies were being sent, their 
amount and where they were; when this proposal had been accepted, it appeared, to the astonishment 
of the directors of the Komprod that the information could not by any means be found, the reasons 
being purely those of organisation, of the actual state of affairs in the various departments. Not to 
speak of the disgraceful (lack of?) communication of information from the provinces; one department 


is isolated from another, each follows its own ends, collects the information which is necessary to it; 
co-ordination of activity there is none, and therefore the question of the Council of People's Commis- 
saries had to remain unanswered. The absence of any such co-ordination indicates the shortcomings 
of tha collegium. The impression is received that the collegia attempt to meet one or another set of 
questions as they come, but they make no effort to possess themselves of a knowledge of the technical 
organisation demanding co-ordination, which is just where the work of a collegium ought to give the 
greatest results." 

Extracts from " Returns of the Council of Labour and Defence." 

(By A. G. Mashkovich.) 

This revision was ordered on the 10th December, 1918, commenced at the beginning of January 
1919, and finished at the beginning of May. 

Is a minutely detailed description of the machinery of the revision, and of the utter confusion 
existing in the various Government Statistical Departments which were the subject of the revision. 

Thus in Tambov seven different sub-divisions of the Statistical Department used seven different 
figures of the total population of the Province, differing by as much as 20 per cent. 

The waste in personnel and salaries proved to be inconceivably great, and the ignorance and 
resulting chaos appalling. 

One great defect was the impossibility of anyone finding employment in these Departments 
who was not a Communist and even a local Communist — and these, needless to say, did not include 
experts in management. 

Stocks of food-stuffs were found everywhere, forgotten and rotting; thus the following were found 
in Petrograd : — 



Per cent, 
of Total. 


Fish . . 

• • ■ • 


, . 





• • « ■ 

. „ 

• . 


1 O 
1 1 

Caviare . . 

• • # • 

• • 

# , 


v 60 


• • • • 

• • 

m # 



Tallow .. 

• • • • 

• • 

■ * 



Thefts have also been very extensive, reaching such figures as 30 to 50 per cent. 

Finance was also in absolute chaos. It was almost impossible to get accounts from the various 
local Departments and advances had been made to incredible amounts, far exceeding those authorised. 
How much money was thus circulating, " God only knows," and the amount of fraud was quite 
impossible to establish. 


Preparation of Foodstuffs. 

The Central Authority does not pretend to manage the actual production of commodities. It 
only provides the plan of and orders for production and the necessary finance. 

Bread stuffs and forage naturally stand in the first place, and here the local authorities not only 
produce badly, but hide stocks in order that their own district may profit by the accumulations. 

The producing organisations have shown no initiative whatever (except in one direction, the 
ignoring of the price limits fixed by the Central Authority). The local authorities have never drawn 
attention to the ineffective methods of collecting bread stuffs, potatoes, vegetables and fruit. The 
collection of fats and eggs scarcely exists. The collection of cattle is unorganised, and the purchase 
of fish is a woeful waste. 

The apparatus of production, as an apparatus, is practically non-existent. 

The Central Authority, with small exceptions, has no returns of the harvest or of stocks, and 
therefore it fails to gather or sufficiently to estimate the reasons for the resistance shown. 

The producing operations are badly arranged— there is not a sufficiency of distributing centres, 
such centres as there are are not always well placed, distribution does not always follow the lines 
laid down by the Central Authority, and the very methods of work (of which mention will be made 
later) often do more harm than good. 

We are not in possession of complete figures, but all that we have goes to confirm the above. 
Thus, in the Saratoff Government the audit established a want of distributing centres. Such were 
opened, and the distribution was improved. 

Often these centres are too far away, making it necessary for the peasant to surmount, not only 
his natural inclination to provide big stocks for himself, but also the difficulties of transport. 

We may mention, parenthetically, that the cost of such transport is sometimes paid and 
sometimes not, according to the interpretation of the different places of the fixed price laid down 
by the authorities. 

Thus, in the Tambov Government, 5 copecks per pood-verst is paid; in the Vologda Government 

[5631] y 


The distributing centres, again, might, in some eases be sufficient if the means of. unloading 
Were normal, but these are hampered by various causes, some quite beyond the control of the 
distributing centres. 

As is well known, the figures of the harvests, populations and even of production were not 
before the audit, and therefore we can only establish 'the above facts from the figures of certain 
Provinces or districts. 

Lkbudyansky District, Tambov Province 


Amount which should 

have been Exportable 

after Satisfaction of 

Local Needs according to 

Government Statistics. 

Amount Returned 
as Exportable. 

K'eceived at 



xv v t? • ■ •• ■• •• 


Millet .. 








Figures for 1918 to the 23rd March, 1919. 
(Note. — The word " exportable " means available for distribution.) 

For the Eyazan Province no returns of " exportable " were made on the plea that this 
Province was a " consumer " and not a " producer." 

At the same time the Supreme Authority gave orders for the export of 267,000 poods of rye, of 
which 993 poods in all were despatched. 

From the Samara Province 50,000,000 poods were expected ; 35,000,000 poods should have 
been collected by the 1st March. By the 1st January, 17,000,000 had been collected. Consequently 
600,000 poods should have been distributed daily, whereas the daily distribution was only. 300,000 
for lack of distributing centres. 

Lipetsky District. 


Estimated Surplus. 

Delivered at 
Distributing Centres. 

-t\j y ti •• •• •• •• 

\_JctuS • • •• •• •• 







Further evidence is afforded by the extent to which the plans of the Central Authority have 
been carried out, for this depends not only on whether the plan has been carried out in good time, not 
only whether the railways have been able to deal with the freight, but also whether the production 
has failed to reach the figure of the plan, i.e., the speed with which the " orders " are executed is 
in direct proportion to the speed of production. 


Ordered for 


Per cent. 

In August (the minimum per cent.) — 















In October (maximum) — 



' 10,756,000 











In December — 













In comparing these figures, it should be remembered that the " plan " or " orders " were largely 
reduced after August which shows how far the original plan differed from facts. 



These figures show, further, that the plans are based, not so much on facts or reasonable 
probabilities, as on the figures of the last month or two — August was a bad month, therefore the 
plan was reduced — October was a good month, therefore the December plan was increased. 

So far, with regard to articles of prime necessity; with regard to other products matters are 
much worse. 

The production of meat distributed over the Provinces on the strength of statistics prepared 
during the time of the temporary Government, has been cut down mechanically by half. The plan 
thus prepared has proved to have little life, the amount executed does not exceed 80 per cent., e.g., 
Kursk Province: — 



In June 

^ v LI 1 y •* • ■ •• ■■ 




1 cow. 

The plan is not only half dead, but in some cases is most mischievous. It deals with such large 
figures, so hopelessly beyond, possibility that in certain cases, as in the Volga Government, the attempt 
to carry it out threatens to kill the local dairies. 

Vegetable oil may be considered more or less satisfactory. 

As to butter, we have not sufficient figures, but those we have, show that the attempts of the 
Supreme Authority have not produced particularly satisfactory results. 

The Cherepovetsky Province Department preferred to ignore the orders of the Central Authority, 
and sell 17,000 poods in various directions at 70 to 80 per cent, increase over the fixed price. 

In the Vologda Province the production suffers partly from the excessive slaughter of cattle, 
partly for the excessive prices fixed for butter, milk and cheese. The milk goes to a neighbouring 
Government to be made into cheese, and paid for above the fixed price. 

In Kyazan matters are also unsatisfactory, chiefly for want of organisation. 

Of potatoes, 22-6 per cent, of the orders of the Central Authority were fulfilled, of which a 
considerable part rotted, either from delay in transport or ignorance of collection and despatch. The 
consumer got very few. The State bore considerable expense. 

Further general trouble was caused by the individual Provinces, such as Petrograd and Moscow 
by leave of the Central Authorities sending agents into the producing districts to buy bread stuffs at 
any cost for the starving populations, an action which caused terrible confusion and often led not to 
contact between the producer and consumer, but strife. 

Thus it was in the Samara and in other Provinces. 

Of course it was not only a question of organisation, but largely one of to what extent the 
economic needs of the peasant could be met. 

If these could not be satisfied, the whole question resolved itself into one of force. 

And it must be confessed that sufficient attention has never been paid to this point, and the 
'Production Commission' has always seen the 'mailed fist" (Koolak), and used force to 
overcome it. 

A recourse to this method has been forced, not only by blindness to the real facts of the situation, 
but by the impossibility of using other methods. 

Thus for instance Barter has remained nothing but a name. 

The Central Authority simply gave orders for barter, and the local authorities carried these 
orders out without system and without result. 

Thus in the Eyazan Province the matter is only in course of settlement : in Tambov there is 
no barter: in Saratov it is quite negligeable : in Orlov, Kursk and Voroniezh, barter as contemplated 
by the decree scarcely exists. It remains to decide whether next year's policy will be one of 
' barter " or of " supply." If of the former means must be taken to translate word into action. 

It must be added that where, even in a very small way, barter has been introduced the results 
have been quite good. 

The question of fixed prices for bread stuffs and other agricultural 
serious question. We have no time to go into this matter in full detail 
present the opinion of certain members of the audit. 

The existing fixed prices of the most important articles are not in accord with the present 
economic situation such is the decision of the members of the audit. 

' The second fundamental decision, resulting from our labours is ' says Comrade Terziev 
in his report " the wish to approximate the policy of the Supreme Authority to an economic basis. 
Hand-to-mouth measures in the end, as has been proved, cost dearer. I refer to the coming rise in 
the fixed price. In working this out it is essential to take into consideration the normal rate of 
pay for agricultural labour. Otherwise the labourer will only work if forced to do so, and will prefer 
to migrate to the towns where his work will be better paid." It is impossible to dispute this opinion; 
it only remains to work it out. 

For the moment we have to establish only this : the prices for bread stuffs, &c, do not correspond 
to realities. 

In estimating how far they do so it is necessary to remember one most important fact : the 
village receives next to nothing from the town. All that the town produces is consumed by it and 
the army, while, according to the. State distribution a mere trifle is assigned to the village. 

commodities — is a 
and can, therefore, 



Y 2 


1. Flour— 


To the army . . 


„ people 


„ railways 

(? d.) 

• • •• •• •• •- 

(? «•) 

• • •• •• •• •• 

(? /•) 

■ a t» _•• •• •• 

2. Forage— 


To the army . . 


„ capitals and Kronstadt 


„ railways 


■ • •• •• •• •• 

According to the December plan there were to be distributed: — 


. . 1,323,000 

.. 6,497,000 

.. 1,956,000 




.. 4,132,000 

The Supreme Authority restricts itself to the drawing up of the plan, the issue of the necessary 
orders and the issue of stocks (of articles of prime importance) — all details are left to the local 

Owing to the lack of statistics, the whole system of distribution stands on very shaky 

The plan remains a dead letter, interfered with by a whole string of disturbing factors. 

From the plan sketched out above, it is clear 'that of forage the only districts to be supplied are 
the two capitals and Kronstadt while the army gets more than two-thirds of the whole. 

Such is the plan, but, as a matter of fact the actual distribution has no relation to it, and is 
governed principally by mere chance. 

By the plan, each consuming centre should receive its bread from a definite producing Province, 
and the making up of this plan is of first importance for the plan of transport. 

The distribution plan, however, remains nothing but a plan owing to the fact that, as shown 
above, there is available for distribution, on an average, less than a third of the plan amounts, which, 
of course, upsets the whole scheme of distribution and transport. 

Below are some further figures of production: — 











Army and navy 
Waterways . 

















• • 

Total . 







The delivery of vegetable oils was decidedly better, but in the distribution the whole people were 
only to get 20 per cent, of which 6 per cent, was to go to the towns. 

Per cent. 

Army and navy 
Rail and waterways 


Capitals . . 
Other towns 
Country . . 















In thousand poods 




Of fish the deliveries were 59 to 64 per cent, of the plan — of meat, 30 per cent, and it should 
be added that a great part of the deliveries went to the army. 

Speed in production, correct planning of distribution and satisfactory provision of all necessarj', or 
at least fundamental articles of -food is the criterion of the working of the whole apparatus. 

The following figures are significant: — 

In Moscow, besides bread, of which there was issued more or less regularly every two to four 

days — 

Category I 
„ II 

„ III 

1 lb.] 

| „ > Counting this as normal for two days. 

4 " J 


From the 1st to the 21st January there was also issued on consumers' cards: — 

Category I. 

Category 11. 


Category III. 

Old products — 


i lb. 

i lb. 

4- lb. 

New products — 


2 lb. 

11 lb. 


Vegetable oil 


4 » 

2 » 

4 » 

Toilet soap 

1 piece 

1 piece 

1 piece. 

Common soap . . 



o&lt • • • ■ •• •• 

2 ,, 

1 2 " 



1 „ 

• • 

Children — 





3 lb 

2 lb. 

1 lb. 


2 " 


2 " 


2 " 


2 „ 

. . 

. . 

Cheese or sour cream or curds 

• • 


. . 

Black caviare 

. . 

• • 

i lb. 


. . 

2 lb. 

Potato Hour 

. , 


2 ■' 

. . 


, , 

1 ,. 

# . 


3 1b. 

, . 

5 lb. 


« , 

. • 

• • 





2 lb. 


. . 



• • 

and that is all. 

From the 1st January to the 16th April the totals announced (this does not mean issued) on the 
new cards were as follows (for what was issued on the old cards, see above; these figures remain 
unchanged): — 

Category I. 

Categoiy II. 

Category III. 


2 lb. 

11 lb. 


Vegetable oil . . ... 


4 » 

2 " 


4 " 

Toilet soap 

1 piece 

1 piece 

1 piece. 

Common soap 



. . 


2 „ 


1 lb. 

Soft sugar 


4 " 



4 » 

. Vegetable oil 


4 " 

2 " 

4 >) 


4 » 

4 )> 


8 Jl 

Herrings and fish 


— » 

1 JL 

1 2 " 

1 lb. 

Vegetable oil 


4 " 

2 J5 


4 )) 

Soft sugar 


4 " 


2 M 

4 » 

Common soap ... 


2 » 


2 " 

. . 

oalt . . . . . . . . 

2 „ 


1 lb. 

Soft sugar 


4 » 


2 " 


4 M 


"4 " 

i „ 



1 „ 

1 „ 


2 >> 


4 „ 

3 „ 

2 „ 


2 boxes 

2 boxes 

2 boxes. 

)> . ■ . . . • . • 

2 „ 

2 „ 

2 „ 


4 1b. 

3 1b. 

2 lb. 

Toilet soap 

£ piece 

^ piece 

^ piece. 

Note. — The above tables are literal translations from Russian. In the second table it is 
presumed that the sections refer to the periods the lst/31st January, the lst/28th February and the 
1st March/16th April. 

Bad enough. Moscow and Petrograd received some J lb. of bread in the first category (and that 
not always), a little vegetable oil, a herring, and, at the very last, a little sugar. 

But if you compare Moscow with the Moscow Province, it appears that the citizens of 
Podolsk, e.g., received during the two months of October and November li lb. of bread in all per 

Each citizen of Zvenigorod received on his card from the 1st September, 1918, to the 1st January, 
"1919: — 

012 lb. of sugar. 2*4 lb. of potatoes. 4 ■ 1 lb. of salt. 

2-6 „ of rye. 0'17 „ of wheat flou. 0*0014 lb. of tea, 

To live on what is required by the victualling apparatus is manifestly impossible, They live by 


The auditor of the Bogorodsky district, writes: " 90 per cent, of his needs the consumer satisfies 
l>\ private means, without regard to the public organisation"; and this is probably true, with slight 
exceptions, of a large part of the consuming Governments. 

Where, then, is the " monopoly," the " dictatorship " and tiie " fixed price"? They do not, 
and cannot, exist under such circumstances. 


Such a system only opens the door to wholesale lawlessness. 

Favoured persons get well supplied at the expense of the ordinary mass. Thus, in the Podolsk 
district, where the ration was H lb. of bread a head for the two months of October and November, 
those favoured persons who got extra rations received 30 lb. 

The members of the Zvenigorodsky Governing Committee received rationed commodities by the 
pood. On being ordered by the auditors to stop this, they at once replied that local conditions rendered 
such stoppage impossible. 

To sum up, the local administrators are evidently governed by the principle, " one cannot 
provide for one's relations." 

Further, even the small remnants with which the Eepublic itself deals are not fairly divided. 
The towns receive preference over the villages and the capitals over the towns. 


By decree of the 27th/14th May, 1918, all goods of prime necessity were to be nationalised. 

The supreme authority prepared no plan of action, leaving this to the local authorities. The 
result was utter chaos. In many cases the product was not nationalised but municipalised. In 
practically every instance there was malpractice, maladministration and ignorance. In Moscow, 
where the municipality refused to acknowledge the claims of the supreme authority, the former, 
taking over twelve haberdashers' businesses, spent 2,074,058 roubles on salaries (not counting rent, 
heating and other charges) in three months, against sales amounting to 2,600,000 roubles. 

Appendix XI. 

The Ration in the Donetz Basin. 
(Translation from Russian.) 

The Izviestiya Raboche-Krestyanskoi Inspektsii ("Bulletin of Workers' and Peasants' Control), 

April 1920. 

" By a decree of the Council of the Labour Army of the Ukraine, workers in the coal and metal- 
lurgical industries in the Donetz basin are declared to be militarised for the purpose of increasing 

" In connection with this a special increased food ration, equal to the Red army ration at the 
front, is accorded. 

" The Donetz basin is the fundamental nerve of the economic organism of the Republic, having a 
colossal importance in the industry of Russia in the procuring of coal, and forming the basis of our 
metallurgical industry. It should, therefore, command the special attention of food organisation 
with a view to the complete satisfaction of the needs of the workers, in accordance with the scale 
established by Soviet of the Ukraine Labour Army. 

' In actuality, we observe a complete lack of organisation in the supply of the workers of this 

' According to data collected by the Workers' and Peasants' Control, the issue of food products 
for the workers is so insignificant that it does not satisfy their minimum demands, as a result of 
which strong tendencies prevail for workers to go away into the corn districts of the Ukraine. With 
a view to substantiating 'this, we attach the following table, which clearly show how completely 
unsatisfactory the situation is: — 

Total Rations 


Name of Products. 

due in Poods to 

Workers and 





due Period 

March 1-15. 



• • • 





Krnpa (form of millet) 

. . . 






. . . 





Meat and tisli 

. • . 






. . . 





Tobacco (" makhorka") 






. . . 






. . . 





Sugar prep. 

. . . 






. • . 






. • » 






• • - 






" These figures speak for themselves. During two and a half months only 18 per cent, of bread, 
22 per eent. butter, 17 per cent, meat and fish, and 25 per cent, sugar has been issued. With the 
exception of krupa, which has been issued in quantities larger than the prescribed ration, products 
like makhorka, matches, soap, sugar products, tallow, herrings and vegetables are never available for 
issue in the co-operative shops of the Don basin union. If we take into account that, for more than 
a year the workers have not received a single arshin of textile material, thanks to which they arc in 
great want of clothing and the children walk about naked and barefooted, then it becomes clear that 
it is absurd to think of keeping the workers in the Don basin under such conditions, and, above all, 
of increasing production. 

" The food situation in April did not improve; it is evident that there is no hope of an improve- 
ment even during the summer months, for supplies usually decrease everywhere at this time, and in 
the Ukraine, more than elsewhere, will be insignificant. 

" The supply of the Don basin with food has been entrusted to the Prodonbas — a body directly 
subordinated to the People's Commissariat for Food for the Ukraine, which is with regard to the 
supply of food products. 

" The unsuccessful activities of the Ukraine People's Commissariat for Food is to be explained 
not only by the failure to organise the departments of supply, by the absence of any definite plan of 
operations, by simultaneously applying military and civilian methods in the course of the work, &c, 
but chiefly owing to the fact that the Ukraine peasantry, who have displaced during the last two 
years or more about ten different Governments, has now come to the conclusion that there is no 
Government which would be capable of administering the Ukraine. And the Soviet Government has 
so far no roots in the masses. Its existence for the time being is nominal. The degree of influence 
of the dictatorship of the working class on the peasantry in the Ukraine is so slight that the Soviet 
Government does not extend to the villages, while in the towns unrestrained freedom of trade 
flourishes. In such a state of affairs when it comes to taking bread from the peasants on credit on a 
promise of future good things, it goes without saying that a very powerful influence of the workers 
on the villages is demanded. The small numbers of the Ukraine workers and their weak organisation 
makes it impossible to subject the peasants to the hegemony of the working class, to achieve which 
demands long and stubborn work. As long as the proper influence of the working class on the 
peasants does not exist, it is impossible to hope for any speedy solution of the food question in the 
Ukraine, and any distribution of bread and other products must necessarily exist only on paper. 

' The deduction, therefore, is that the Donetz "Basin, which has an exclusive importance in 
relation to our industry and transport, cannot be satisfactorily supplied with food by the Ukrainian 
food organs. It is essential to find other sources of supply. All the institutions of the Eepublic 
interested should turn their attention to this. 

"(Signed) YAKUBOV." 

Appendix XII. 

Statement giving an Estimate of the Cost of the Preparation, Printing and Publishing of this Report, 
which Estimate includes the Cost of the Preparation, Printing and Publishuig of the Interim 

£ s. d. 
Office accommodation, furniture, fuel and light — from particulars 

supplied by His Majesty's Office of Works ... ... 239 

Telephones — from particulars supplied by the General Post 

Office § ... ... ... ... ... ... 15 

Stationery — from particulars supplied by His Majesty's 

Stationery Office 
Salaries, wages ... 
Expenses of witnesses reimbursed ... 
Expenses in connection with translations 
Travelling and incidental expenses ... 
Printing and Publishing Keports (including printing of Minutes 

of Evidence) — from particulars supplied by His Majesty's 

Stationery Office ... ... ..." ... ... 504 


1,830 1 


107 8 


213 9 

35 16 

Total ... ... 2,518 15 1 




3 9999 06379 798 7 

1 Mill l|l I illl 



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ft mw y** ; ■ ftiiji 



re Bsag aa 



r- ; ? -1 :" • ; - 


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IT* ££££%> 

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